Businesswoman Becomes First Black Woman To Own Airline

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/30/2015 | 02:15 PM EST

Sizakele Petunia Mzimela makes history with Fly Blue Crane

There's a new "first" for Black women around the world.

Sizakele Petunia Mzimela, a South African businesswoman, has officially become the first Black woman to own an airline.

The air transportation veteran professional started Fly Blue Crane this past September, making her a first in not just her home country, but the entire globe. 

“We aim to make our mark serving the increasingly commercially significant provincial and regional capitals. Our aim in the coming years is to make air travel an altogether better and more rewarding experience in Southern Africa‚” Mzimela said, according to Financial Juneteeth.

Mzimela says she had the vision of giving customers what they truly want from an airline: affordable fares, reliability and consistency.

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Mzimela is also the first woman appointed to the International Air Transport Association’s Board of Directors in 67 years, reports Pulse

She previously served as the chief executive officer of South African Airways SOC Limited, and held various titles in the airline industry including non-executive chairperson at Cargo Carriers Ltd, and executive director of South African Airways SOC Limited.

Mzimela holds a BA in economics and statistics, and also served as the head of global sales and Voyager Programme at SAA. 

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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