One woman from South Africa has had a lifelong passion for aviation, and she didn’t let an airline’s arbitrary rejection get in the way of letting her dreams take off. Sibongile Sambo launched her all-women-owned aviation company in Johannesburg in 2004 after suffering a professional setback. The company offers tourist, luxury and helicopter flights to and from various destinations around the world, including the U.S. and Germany. Sambo, however, did not always want to start her own aviation business. She initially aspired to be a flight attendant for South African Airways, but was denied because she did not meet the minimum height requirement. After facing difficulties establishing herself in a male-dominated industry, Sambo eventually she set her sights higher. She sold her car and cashed out her mother’s pension, all to give her the funds to obtain the Air Operating Certificate by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for SRS Aviation. SRS also partnered with MCC Aviation, a well-known company in the industry. Now, according to Sambo, SRS is the only 100 percent female-owned aviation company in all of Africa. Having fulfilled her own dreams in the aviation business, Sambo says she wants to enable the dreams of other South African women with similar aspirations.
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