ExpressJet Airlines Commemorates Ten-Year Anniversary of Historic First All-Female, African-American Flight Crew

by savoystaff

ExpressJet Airlines this week commemorated the ten-year anniversary of its flight that made history as our nation’s first commercial revenue flight operated by an all-female, African-American crew.

On February 12, 2009, Captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, First Officer Stephanie Grant and Flight Attendants Diana Galloway and Robin Rogers operated a roundtrip flight between Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, for what was then Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA). ExpressJet and ASA later merged.

The four women working together happened by chance after the original first officer assigned to the trip became ill and was replaced by First Officer Grant.

“I could not believe it at the time,” said Grant, describing how she felt as she stepped aboard the aircraft. “We knew the moment was special, but did not realize the full significance until weeks later when pictures from the flight began circulating on the internet.”

After careful research and confirmation through the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP), it was determined that the flights were indeed a first for U.S.-based carriers.

Today, First Officer Grant and Flight Attendant Rogers are still flying for ExpressJet. Captain Kerr is now a first officer at Delta Air Lines, and Flight Attendant Galloway has retired her wings. Although no longer coworkers, the four remain connected through the chance bond they formed ten years ago.

“I am proud of our place in history and even more proud to share it with some of the greatest women that I know,” said Grant.

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