Meet Zoey Williams, 27-year-old pilot and Air Canada’s first Black female pilot to fly a Boeing 777

by Joseph Omoniyi
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Ontario, Canada, has given the world another reason to celebrate diversity and excellence in aviation. Meet Zoey Williams, a 27-year-old pilot who has etched her name in history as Air Canada’s first Black female pilot to fly a Boeing 777. Her journey is not only inspiring but also a testament to perseverance and passion in the face of challenges.

Growing up as the daughter of a pilot, Zoey’s childhood was filled with adventures across the globe. Despite her early exposure to aviation, she initially hesitated to pursue a career in piloting due to the industry’s unpredictable schedules. Instead, she focused on the engineering side of aviation. However, a transformative experience during a flight on a Cessna sparked her determination to conquer her fear and pursue flight training. By the age of 19, she had earned her wings as a certified flight instructor.

Zoey’s career has been marked by a series of milestones and challenges, from flying the Beechcraft 1900 in challenging conditions to serving as a First Officer for Sky Regional Airlines and later transitioning to Air Transat. Despite the disruptions brought on by the pandemic, she pursued an MBA in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while engaging in diverse ventures, including starting a short-term rental business and flying a Boeing 737 for Flair Airlines.

Her journey eventually led her to Air Canada, where she achieved a significant milestone by operating flights alongside her father on the Boeing 777. Beyond her achievements in aviation, Zoey is a multi-talented individual, showcasing her musical skills on various platforms and making her mark as an author with her upcoming book, “Go Where You Belong,” aimed at inspiring young minds.

Zoey’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is evident in her volunteer work with underserved communities and racialized groups. She sits on the Board of Directors for Urban Pilots Network and is a keynote and public speaker encouraging business, science, and education.

For her contributions to the aviation industry, Zoey has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being named one of the Top 20 under 40 by Wings Magazine. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and the pursuit of excellence.

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