The island nation of Seychelles recently lost a pioneering aviator when Nicole Chang-Leng, the first Seychellois female captain, unexpectedly passed away on Thursday, November the 3rd, at 45.

Captain Nicole Chang-Leng with Air Seychelles Cabin Crew

“The country is mourning the sudden passing of a young, intelligent and dynamic Seychelloise,” said Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan. “Captain Chang-Leng was a professional who served her country with pride and humility. Her journey inspired many and she will remain a beacon of hope for all who aspire to live out their dream. She helped our national airline achieve high standards. The country will remember her as a true daughter of our soil.”


Becoming A Legend

Nicole spent the past 25 years building an impressive career at Air Seychelles. She joined the national carrier in 1997 when she started to fly as a first officer on the airline’s short-haul Twin Otter. Within ten years of joining the airline, Nicole’s hard work and dedication earned her the promotion to captain on the airline’s flagship Boeing 767. With the extra strips on her shoulder, Nicole carried the honor of being the first female in her country to achieve this accomplishment. She commanded the nation’s first all-female crew flight between Seychelles and Mauritius in 2007. Nicole became Director of Flight Operations at Air Seychelles and a pilot trainer for the airline.

Chang-Leng became the first female captain on August 21, 2007 when she received her epaulettes from captain David Savy, who was the Air Seychelles’ chief executive. (Photo from Seychelles Nation)

An Icon’s Farewell

Air Seychelles Captains carry the coffin of their fallen colleague

Nicole was laid in her final resting place by fellow Air Seychelles Captains. In honor of her legacy and remarkable career, Air Seychelles performed an honorary fly-over salute using its A320neo, the same aircraft she collected for delivery at the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany.

Captain Nicole Chang-Leng leaves behind her husband David and her 20-year-old son, Harry.

About Seychelles

Seychelles is Africa’s smallest country consisting of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean at the eastern edge of the Somali Sea. It’s famous for its numerous stunning beaches, coral reefs, nature reserves, rare animals, and mountain rainforests. The islands have a reputation for warm creole hospitality.

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