All-female crew in first for Surinam Airways
Suriname aviation recorded an important milestone on Wednesday, 16 January, 2019, when an all-female crew took charge of a Surinam Airways (SLM) flight.
The flight, with Captain Astrid Deira at the helm, departed at 9:30 am Suriname time on the B737-700 “District of Saramacca” from the J.A. Pengel Airport in Suriname to the Reina Beatrix International Airport in Aruba. Twenty-two year-old Sha’ira Zuiverloon, considered the youngest among the Surinam Airways’ pilots, served as First Officer. Purser Jo-Ann Leysner and Cabin Attendants, Ifna Bernadin and Nancy Kasanngaloewar rounded out the all-female crew.
In April 2014, Captain Deira became the first female Surinamese pilot on a Surinam Airways Boeing 737. As Suriname’s first female Pilot-in-Command, she made her inaugural flight on 12 April 2014 from the J.A. Pengel Airport in Suriname to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana. This was the highlight in her career of thirty years with Surinam Airways. Captain Deira is known for her very impressive track record with the airline.
In another first for the airline, the complete handling and operations (load control, load sheet and flight plan) for this flight were executed by women.
“This operation can, therefore, be considered the very first “All Female Flight Operation” in the Republic of Suriname, a very important milestone in Suriname Aviation history and an empowerment for youth. The slogan “Girl power” which encourages and celebrates women empowerment, independence and confidence is very well reflected in this Surinam Airways operation”, SLM said.