By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Vanita Kayiwa, also Vernita Kayiwa, is a Ugandan airline transport pilot, who serves as a first officer at Uganda National Airlines Company, Uganda’s national carrier airline, on the A330-841 aircraft, since February 2021. Before that, effective April 2019, she served as a first officer on the CRJ 900 equipment, at the same airline.
Uganda Airlines is the flag carrier of Uganda. The company is a revival of the older Uganda Airlines which operated from 1977 until 2001. The current carrier began flying in August 2019.
Vernita was born in Buziga, a neighbourhood in Makindye Division, in Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. She obtained her Commercial pilot licence from the East African Civil Aviation Academy, in Soroti, in the Eastern Region of Uganda.
Vernita has spent most of her flying career at Air Serv Limited, piloting Cessna 208 Caravans. She first flew as a first officer, before she was promoted to captain on the Cessna 208, in 2016. Vernita Kayiwa is the first Ugandan woman to make captain at Air Serv Limited, since that airline was founded in 1987.
In April 2019, she was hired by Uganda National Airlines Company, as one of a small number of female pilots at the airline.
As of February 2021, Vernita was one of the five female pilots at Uganda Airlines, out of a total of 50 aviators. At that time, she and Tina Drazu were the only two female pilots who were part of the cockpit crew on the A330-841 equipment at Uganda Airlines.
As of February 2021, according to reports, Uganda Airlines employed over 50 pilots, of whom five (10 percent) were female and 45 (90 percent), were male. Of the 50 pilots, 42 (84 percent) were Ugandan nationals.