Story of Kenyan Pilot Peninah Karanja Who Made History in Rwanda

Story of Kenyan Pilot Peninah Karanja Who Made History in Rwanda
Story of Kenyan Pilot Peninah Karanja Who Made History in Rwanda

In Rwanda, another female Kenyan pilot is making headwinds in the aviation industry and has made history in the country, her name Peninah Karanja. Born and raised in Kenya, Karanja is the first female captain of Rwanda’s national courier, RwandAir.

On February 19, Kenyan Pilot, Captain Ruth Karauri gained international fame after aviation enthusiast Jerry Dye shared a video of her majestically landing a Kenya Airways plane at the Heathrow Airport in London, the United Kingdom.

Captain Karauri’s display of brilliance in landing the aircraft during the storm Eunice that gave other pilots a pain in the neck, not only put Kenyan pilots on the international map but showed the world that female pilots can also ace the profession.

Karanja was born in Nairobi Kenya and had a stellar performance in her academic life – attending Loreto High School Limuru in 2000.

She sat her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2003. At the time, students joining the university stayed home for about a year as they awaited to join one of the few universities or colleges in the country.

However, the captain opted to chart her own path. In 2004, she left the country for South Africa, where she signed up at the 43 Air School in Port Albert to pursue a course in piloting.

Karanja got through school and acquired all licenses that enabled her to become a commercial pilot. She also gained training in aviation security, air charter, aircraft maintenance, and airline and flight safety.

She joined RwandAir in September 2012 as a pilot and served as a First Officer. She became diligent in her work, impressing both her colleagues and employers.

Consequently, she was promoted to captain on May 12, 2013, barely a year after she joined the airline, becoming the first woman in Rwanda to achieve such a feat.

“All rise for our first female captain, Captain Peninah Karanja,” RwandAir recently hailed Karanja.

Karanja continued to inspire women in the aviation industry. Through her hands, Rwanda got its first female Captain, Esther Mbabazi, who trained with her as her First Officer.

“Peninah Wanjiku Karanja as a captain on the Being 737ng and a captain on the Boeing fleet. As a captain, she has the final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight,” her work profile reads in part.


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Story of Kenyan Pilot Peninah Karanja Who Made History in Rwanda

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