Around the world in less than 60 days
A Nigerian national and a pilot for Air Djibouti, Ademilola Odujinrin, last week Friday started the second leg of his attempt to fly around the world. Lola, as he is known by his airline colleagues, is the first African pilot to tackle this arduous journey.
He departed from the UK after completing the Atlantic crossing from the United States to North Weald airfield in the British Isles. On the second leg he first flew to Malta, before heading to Djibouti where he is a pilot for Air Djibouti.
Air Djibouti is managed by aviation services provider, Cardiff Aviation who provided logistical support to Lola for his circumnavigation attempt. He is flying a small single prop, two seater Cirrus aeroplane.
From Djibouti, Lola will continue around the rest of the world, through India and Australia, and intends to set a further aviation milestone with the fastest US coast-to-coast flight in a single-prop aircraft.
The flight is part of Project Transcend, a foundation which aims to inspire young people to achieve their goals regardless of their personal circumstances, and to never take ‘no’ for an answer.
Lola said: “Fewer than 115 people have completed a solo circumnavigation of the globe by air, and it’s been my dream since my youth to join them. Air Djibouti CEO Mario Fulgoni and Cardiff Aviation Chairman Bruce Dickinson share my love for flying and have been hugely supportive in helping me realise a lifetime ambition. I hope to set a world first and inspire a generation of people in Africa and beyond.”
He then added: “I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of Air Djibouti, for being my main sponsor in this exciting adventure. Air travel in Africa is growing fast and set to explode in the coming years with the implementation of the African open sky policy. As an employee of Air Djibouti, it will be an honour and a privilege to play a role in this exciting growth ahead.”
The history-making aviator was waved off from the Essex airfield by Dickinson, Fulgoni and Hadi, who is also the Chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, which owns Air Djibouti.
Lola currently has over 4,000 hours logged as a commercial Boeing 737 pilot, having earned his commercial pilot’s licence six years ago. As a pilot for Cardiff Aviation, he is part of the company’s ‘airline-in-a-box’ proposition, which enables countries and companies to set up EASA-class airlines with minimal risk.
Through this initiative, Air Djibouti and Cardiff Aviation stated they want to inspire a new generation of young pilots in Africa. “As Africa continues to transform and develop, a thriving and open aviation industry is key to achieving more intra-African trade and sustainable economic development.”