Margot is one of the first female pilots of Sabena. When she started as co-pilot In 1987, she dreamt of becoming the captain on long distance flights one day. After a lot of hard work and many flight hours she managed to become the captain on a B737. Today she is flying around the whole world for Cargolux and still loves her job every day!
When did you start thinking about becoming a pilot?
When I was 11 years old, we had to do some tests at school to discover our talents and received information about different professions. At that time there was one booklet for boys and another one for girls, but it was much more interested in the boys brochure. I also read in the newspaper that from that year on, women were allowed at the BLS (school for pilots). That's when the idea of flying around the world as a pilot became my dream job.
How was your experience as one of the first female pilots?
When I started we were with only 5 women. The first female pilot was Yvonne Cunha, she started in 1974 and for her it was a really tough time. Most of the other pilots told her she should better stay home to take care of the kids. She would never fly with passengers as it was 'not suitable for a lady'. But she did not give up, and finally managed to become the first female captain! She still received the nickname "Captain Pussy" though..... But by the time I became captain, men were already used to it and I never had the feeling I had to do better than them.
What was the most difficult period in your career?
When Sabena went bankrupt in 2001. More than 700 pilots lost their job and, as most of airlines prefer to hire pilots from their own country, it was not easy to find a new position. In 2002 I had to start again as co-pilot. It took many years to become a captain again, which eventually happened in 2014. Meanwhile I started a second career as a mother of two 2 children.
Which Kaai bag do you treasure?
I love the Hero because of its versatility. I always take my i-Pad with me, 2 pairs of reading glasses (as it is obligatory to have a spare one ), my sunglasses, flight book, flight license, passport, vaccination record, airport badge and personal stuff, all well organized in my Hero. I carry my Kaai bag with me everyday and promote it to many other colleagues and friends. I immediately joined Kaai's "refer a friend "program, as it is fun to recommend it to somebody and gaining a €50 voucher at the same time!