Yesha Callahan

Yes She Can: Siza Mzimela Is the First Black Woman to Start An Airline


South African entrepreneur Siza Mzimela is a history-maker. The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fly Blue Crane, is the first Black woman to start an airline.

Fly Blue Crane began flying out of O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, the company’s hub, back in September and offers flights throughout South Africa. Although the airline has only been operating for a few months, Mzimela hopes to extend its coverage to other countries in the region.

“We hope to expand our flight destinations to Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Mzimela said. “We currently have two 50-seat ERJ 145s. The airline will aim to keep its current rates in order to make flying affordable for both business and leisure travel.”

Mzimela has a long history in the airline industry. In addition to being the head of Fly Blue Crane, she’s also Executive Chairperson of Blue Crane Aviation, a company that provides consulting, aviation legal services, and aircraft management services to other African airlines. Previously, Mzimela was the first female Chief Executive Officer of South African Express Airways and South African Airways.

If her position as head of Fly Blue Crane and Blue Crane Aviation weren’t enough, Mzimela also serves on the South African Tourism Board and the board of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

  1. December 1, 2015 - Reply

    This story is amazing! I’m so proud of the amazing things Black women are doing! Thank you, Clutch, for keeping us informed.

    • December 2, 2015 - Reply


      Right on Sister.

  2. December 2, 2015 - Reply


  3. December 2, 2015 - Reply

    This is stupendous, excellent news. Congratulations to Sister Siza Mzimela.

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