When Susan Mashibe was just four years old, she remembered seeing her parent’s plane take off, leaving her with her grandmother. Instead of crying like children her age would have done, Susan wished that she could fly a plane herself so she will never be left behind.
Susan eventually became Tanzania’s first female FAA-certified pilot and mechanic but she did not stop there. After receiving her pilot’s license, she applied at Delta Lines Inc. but the terrible events of September 11 changed the world and aviation sector in particular.
It was at this point that Susan stopped searching for work in the U.S and returned to Tanzania to start her career. The first thing she did when she returned was to use all her savings to rent a small office in the Dar es Salaam airport to start her company.
Now Susan is the founder and Executive Director of VIA Aviation, an international fixed-base aircraft services operation and the first company of its kind in Tanzania. Today, VIA Aviation provides logistical support for corporate, diplomatic and private jets. Her clients include heads of state, monarchs, Fortune 500 executives, celebrities, and military flights. VIA was the first company to offer such services in Tanzania and East Africa as a whole.
In 2011, she was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.