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In a first, an all-female flight crew in Mozambique takes to the skies

The women are members of MEX, an entity originally created as the Special Operations Department of LAM - Linhas Aereas de Moçambique

Dércio Tsandzana | Global Voices 

LAM — Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique

It is a historic day: that is how many Mozambicans regard December 14, 2018 when, for the first time in the country's history, an airplane was operated solely by women.

The crew for flight TM112/3, which traveled between the capital, Maputo, and Manica — an air distance of 442 miles — was captain Admira António, co-pilot Elsa Balate, cabin chief Maria da Luz Aurélio, and flight attendant Débora Madeleine.

The women are members of MEX, an entity originally created as the Special Operations Department of LAM — Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique. In 1995, it began operations as an independent airline, Express.

A congratulatory Facebook status update posted by feminist activist Eliana Nzualo, has so far attracted nearly 450 comments, been shared more than 460 times, and garnered close to 2,000 reactions:

A HISTORIC DAY – All-female crew

Flight TM112/3 MPM-VPY-MPM (Maputo-Chimoio-Maputo)

Congratulations MEX!

Congratulations crew!

Congratulations, Mozambique!

For more women in all sectors.

Social activist Mauro Brito added that women should be proud “when [they] are represented in various sectors”:

In aviation there are few women, very few, this is not only here but in the whole world. I imagine the women who thought this profession was for men only, should feel proud.

is not alone. In August 2018, in a first for South Africa's national carrier SAA, an intercontinental flight with an all-female crew took to the skies to transport passengers from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Eight months earlier, in December 2017, Ethiopian Airlines operated its first ever flight staffed by an all-female crew. From to cabin crew, check-in staff to flight dispatchers, the flight — from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Lagos in Nigeria — was (wo)manned entirely by women.

This article, written by Dércio Tsandzana, was published on Global Voices on December 15, 2018

First Published: Mon, December 17 2018. 10:07 IST