A Nigerian pilot 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.
According to Punchng, the pilot stopped 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!’
When Lola was asked last year by Ventures Africa on how his daredevil dream will affect his wife and kids, he said:
‘I met Cynthia when I was quite young and she accepted me as a dare devil. We kind of complemented each other in that way because she was never scared to try anything, and I shared my dream with her right from the beginning. In fact, I’m worried that she doesn’t try to stop me enough.’
Ademilola has logged over 4,000 hours as a commercial Boeing 737 pilot since earning his pilot licence six years ago.
Globally, the aviation industry represents a massive opportunity for African economies to play a larger role.
It is estimated that 2017 alone will see approximately four billion airline passengers worldwide, as well as over 50 million tonnes of cargo being transported by air.