Pioneering female airline pilot enjoys last flight with VLM Airlines
Antwerp, 10th May 2005 – Today VLM Airlines says goodbye to a legend in the aviation industry. Yvonne Cunha was welcomed in Antwerp by friends and colleagues when landing her last flight from London City Airport.
In a groundbreaking career, which ends today with VLM Airlines, Yvonne Cunha has enjoyed many firsts. She was the first Belgian female airline pilot and the first lady in the world to fly with Boeing. It is this highly respected career that friends and colleagues want to celebrate today in style, ensuring that her last flight was one she would not easily forget.
Before receiving her training license from the Aviation Authorities 40 years ago, Yvonne was already a flying fanatic: she started gliding at the age of 16. In 1974 she became First Officer at Trans European Airways (TEA) before becoming the first female pilot to fly a Boeing 707 full of tourists to Rimini, Italy. Three years later Yvonne was promoted to captain on board a Boeing 737. In 1985 she became one of the first female captains on an Airbus 300 after which she took on various high level roles at different airlines. In 2001 she joined VLM Airlines as captain, instructor, examiner and training manager.
When taking off on her last flight Yvonne commented: “The airline industry has changed tremendously over the past decades, and I’m very proud to have been a part of it. It is time for new challenges, but I will always remember the past 40 years.”
Johan Vanneste, Managing director of VLM Airlines stated: “Yvonne has been a great asset to our company and I’m very proud to have been able to work with her over the past years. Within the aviation industry Yvonne is known throughout the world, and this obviously required a farewell celebration in style”.
Yvonne was born in Antwerp in March 1945 and currently lives in Schoten, Belgium with her husband. She will enjoy her retirement by spending time with her grandchildren, who flew with her to London today and leisurely travelling throughout the world.
Watch this video.Captain Yvonne Cunha is flying with the youngst Belgian female f/o at the moment.
[url=http://www.ftv.nl/asx/dsp_asxplaylist.cfm?id=181860&pid=ftvvla&quality=3]" Last flight of Yvonne Cunha "