Trailblazer In The Skies: Aya Gertrude Konan, A Former Flight, Attendant Becomes Ivory Coast’s First Black Female Pilot

by Gee NY

Aya Gertrude Konan has shattered barriers in Ivory Coast’s aviation history by becoming the country’s first Black female pilot for a commercial airline.

From her beginnings as a flight attendant, Konan now serves as a First Officer at Air Côte D’Ivoire, commanding the Airbus A320, reports Rising Africa.

Born and raised in Ivory Coast, Konan nurtured a lifelong passion for aviation, drawn to planes since childhood, as reported by Rising Africa.

Despite facing financial hurdles to pursue her dream of becoming a pilot, Konan persevered.

Her opportunity arose in 2014 when Air Côte D’Ivoire initiated a program aimed at training young Ivorians for careers in aviation, including pilots. Konan seized the chance and applied.

Among 1500 applicants, Konan distinguished herself as one of the 15 candidates selected after rigorous assessments in subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, and English.

Notably, she was the sole woman among the chosen candidates. Subsequently, she underwent intensive theoretical and practical training in Côte D’Ivoire and France.

After two years and four months of dedicated effort, Konan etched her name in history as Ivory Coast’s first female civilian airline pilot trained by the state.

Presently, she holds the role of First Officer at Air Côte D’Ivoire, piloting the Airbus A320, and is qualified to operate the Bombardier Dash Q400 as well.

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