Kam Air, Afghanistan’s only private airline, is celebrating its first flight with an all-female crew.
The first-ever female Afghan pilot, 22-year-old Mohadese Mirzaee, joined Captain Veronica Borysova in the cockpit for the Boeing 737 flight from the capital Kabul to Herat in western Afghanistan last week.
Four female cabin crew served passengers during the routine 90-minute flight, making the flight crew 100% female.
Mohammad Qasim Wafayezada, head of the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority, posted on his Facebook page that the flight had made Afghan aviation history.
As is normal in the country, the historic flight was not publicised at the time as Afghanistan’s heightened security discourages high-profile events.
Josh Cahill, a travel blogger, was invited to document the historic flight during his recent trip to Asia.
“For security and safety purposes, large gatherings or public celebrations aren’t very common in Afghanistan,” Cahill said.
He told Business Insider the flight was as smooth running as any that he’s taken in his extensive global journeys, saying the flight crew consisted of “highly trained pilots”.
“The crew has been very professional, just as you would expect from any other airline around the world,” he told Insider. “I have joined a few crews on the flight deck around the globe and I couldn’t notice any difference. I have frequently visited Afghanistan for the past six years and it is nice to see how Kam Air is developing given the difficult circumstances.”
The airline lost nine staff members in a 2018 Taliban attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul.
Kam Air is currently banned from European Union airspace but plans to start flights to Frankfurt, Germany soon, citing its certification under the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit as a step towards being taken off of the EU’s blacklist.
Cahill said, “Unfortunately, it is still rare to see female pilots, especially in male-dominated societies such as the Middle East, but I really hope that this will inspire more women to fly.”