Africa’s first female Dreamliner captain, Irene Koki Mutungi, will likely be the pilot to fly Kenya Airway’s inaugural flight to the US in October with President Uhuru Kenyatta on board.
The maiden flight is expected to depart JKIA at 11.25 pm on October 28th and land at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York at 6.25 am the next day. President Uhuru Kenyatta will be among the passengers on board.
A return flight will then leave JKF in NY at 12.25 pm the same day and touch down in Nairobi at 10.55 am the next day.
The Kenya Airways planes plying this route will carry 234 passengers, 30 at the business class and 204 in the economy section. They will have four pilots, 12 cabin crew members and 85 tonnes of fuel loaded one way.
Captain Koki made history after landing Kenya Airways' fourth Dreamliner aircraft at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Nairobi. She was the first African female captain to fly a plane of such calibre.
Kenya Airways appointed Koki captain of the Boeing 787 in April 2014, making her the first African female Dreamliner certified captain in the world.
In December 2014, Forbes Magazine named her among the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014.
Born in 1976, Koki’s father was a commercial pilot with Kenya Airways, now retired and is an aviation consultant.
She went to Moi Girls Nairobi. She then proceeded to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority school at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport where she obtained her Private Pilot’s Licence. She then continued her piloting education in Oklahoma City in the U.S. and was awarded her Commercial Pilot’s License.
Captain Koki is a mother of one son and leaves in Nairobi.
However, as she appreciated the praises and congratulatory messages accorded her after news emerged she would be flying KQ’s maiden direct flight to the U.S., Captain Koki said she would be honoured to fly the inaugural flight, clarifying that KQ was yet to ‘formally’ select her to captain the flight.