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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Former Flight Attendant Becomes First Black Female Pilot For a Commercial Airline in Her Country

Aya Gertrude Konan

Nationwide — Aya Gertrude Konan has made history as the Ivory Coast’s first ever Black female pilot for a commercial airline. Formerly a flight attendant, she currently serves as a First Officer at Air Côte D’Ivoire, where she pilots the Airbus A320.

Starting her career as a flight attendant in April 2013, Konan had bigger dreams. Growing up in Ivory Coast, she always wanted to be a pilot, fueled by her love for planes since she was young, according to Rising Africa.

Despite financial challenges over expensive pilot training, she didn’t give up. Her chance came in 2014 when Air Côte D’Ivoire launched a competition to train young Ivorians for careers in aviation, including pilots. She immediately took the opportunity to apply.

Out of 1500 candidates, Konan stood out as one of the only 15 chosen candidates after grueling tests in subjects like Math, Physics, and English. What’s more, she was the only woman among them. She then underwent rigorous training, both theoretical and practical, in Côte D’Ivoire and France.

After two years and four months of hard work, Konan made history as she became Ivory Coast’s first female civilian airline pilot trained by the state. She currently serves as a First Officer at Air Côte D’Ivoire, piloting the Airbus A320, and is also qualified to fly the Bombardier Dash Q400.