A Nigerian pilot who works for Air Djibouti has become the first African pilot in history to fly solo around the world. Ademilola “Lola” Odujinrin completed the final leg of his historic journey Wednesday afternoon, landing safely at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The pilot has completed the entire circumnavigation in a Cirrus SR22, stopping in more than 15 countries on five continents, returning to Washington DC, where his journey began back in September.
The flight is part of Project Transcend, a foundation which aims to inspire young people to achieve their goals, regardless of their personal circumstances.
Ademilola says: “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.”
Both formed part of a high-level delegation to welcome the historic aviator on the tarmac at Dulles Airport, including: 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.
Other distinguished guests included the CEO Africa World Press, which plans to publish a book on the journey.
Ademilola has logged over 4,000 hours as a commercial Boeing 737 pilot since earning his pilot licence six years ago.