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Edith Diop

Pilot B777

Youngest Airline Pilot in Air Cote d’Ivoire

Edith Diop

“I am a mixed origins woman, rich in culture being French-Senegalese by my father and Ivorian-German by my mother. The fact that I grew up and lived in Abidjan most of my life determines a big part of my personality. I am Ivorian above all!
My passion for aviation comes from my early childhood. I have been exposed from a very young age to this extraordinary world of aviation, surrounded by airline pilots including my father and uncles.
Like Obelix, I fell into the pot when I was very little in spite of myself! However, it wasn't until I started college that I really decided to become an airline pilot. This followed the premature death of my father, a former Captain at the multinational Air Afrique.
After obtaining my scientific baccalaureate at the French high school Blaise Pascal, I entered the aviation school, Aeronautical Institute in Amaury de Lagrange in France. After that, I immediately wanted to go back home to Ivory Coast. There were not hiring at that time, so I started working at Air Ivoire in different departments as a support officer, such as the Human Factor and the Flight Engineering. A year later, I went for my A320 type rating in The Air France training center and started flying as airline pilot. Unfortunately, the Company did not survive the crisis the country was going through and filed for bankruptcy. Fortunately, Senegal Airlines hired me immediately. It was an opportunity for me to strengthen my ties with my country of the Teranga. In search of new horizons, I finally decided to settle in the Middle East where I have lived for 7 years and get the opportunity to fly the Airbus A330 and my favorite Airbus, the A340-600 that used to be the longest aircraft until it got dethrone by the B747-800.

I am myself an explosive Molotov cocktail, which intrinsically pushes me continuously to open my mind to new culture, being more and more tolerant while hating the routine. And that is what I love about Aviation. It gave me the opportunity to work with diverse people, to travel around the world and of course, my Germanic side has some affection for the technique and precision coming along with it.

When I started my career, we were only two women pilot in my airlines, and she is now like an eldest sister to me. However, I remember at that time feeling isolated with no one else to discuss about particularities related to our nature and profession. That’s why when I discover the 99s only recently, I immediately join exulting to be able to be part of a big sisters’ family, and instantly regret not to have known sooner!

I was the youngest Ivoirian and Senegalese female pilot, which always made me want to inspire and foster vocations among young people, and more particularly young African women. The 99s platform give me the leverage to develop a mentoring program, and contribute to reach my goal. I am now committed to my new family and sincerely hope to get the chance to invest myself more.”

Edith Diop

Ivory Coast France Senegal Germany

Edith Diop,
First Officer A330.

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