A Nigerian pilot identified as Ademilola Odujinrin, has made history by becoming the first African pilot to complete a solo flight around the world.
About 5 months ago, NAIJ.com reported that a Nigerian pilot, Ademilola Odujinrin, was set to embark on a solo journey around the world, while flying his own aircraft.
Odujinrin completed the final leg of his historic trip on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, after landing safely at the Washington Dulles International Airport, where he had started the first leg on his trip in September, 2016.
Odujinrin who is a pilot of Air Djibouti, embarked on the second leg of his historic flight, on October 14, 2016, when he flew to Malta, enroute to Djibouti.
Odujinrin flew around in a Cirrus SR22 aircraft, stopping over in over 15 countries across 5 continents.
Odujinrin's historic flight was part of a Project Transcend foundation's move, which they hope would inspire young people to achieve their goals, irrespective of the circumstances they find themselves in.
Speaking on his latest achievement, Odujinrin who has logged in over 4,000 hours as a commercial Boeing 737 pilot since earning his pilot licence six years ago, said:
“Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of one day flying around the world. We have a responsibility to lead by example and follow our dreams. I want African children to think: ‘I can do this too!'
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Air Djibouti’s Chairman, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, and Cardiff Aviation’s Chairman, Bruce Dickinson, who have supported me throughout this journey. Without them, this would not have been possible.”
Air Djibouti's chairman Aboubaker Omar Hadi and Cardiff Aviation's chairman Bruce Dickinson, were part of the high-profile delegation that welcomed Odujinrin at the airport on his return.
Others include the Ambassador of Djibouti to the United States, His Excellency, Mr. Mohamed Siad Doualeh; Senior Director of Strategic Planning for Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority, Mr. Dawit Michael Gebre-ab; and Chief Operating Officer of Air Djibouti, Mr. Moussa Houssein. The CEO of Africa World Press, plans to publish a book about the historic flight.
Chairman of Air Djibouti, Aboubaker, said:
“By supporting initiatives like Lola’s flight around the world, Air Djibouti hopes to inspire a new generation of pilots in Africa and help to pave the way for the aviation industry to thrive in the region. The benefits will be felt within the region, as this will encourage more intra-African trade and sustainable economic development.
With the commencement of the Single African Air Transport Market set for June 2017, air travel in the continent is positioned to grow rapidly and become a key contributor to the region’s economic and social development.”
Meanwhile, see this video of Nigerian achievers who were recently rewarded by the British Council: