Meet Phil, Flight Centre's new captain

Flight Centre's new Captain, Phil Nyemba is the face of Flight Centre Southern Africa and he's got the wings to go with it.

Flight Centre's Captain, Phil Nyemba

Flight Centre, the largest travel provider in South Africa has introduced a Southern African captain, real-life pilot and Flight Centre customer, Phil Nyemba.

As part of the brand's global campaign, Flight Centre introduced a crew of diverse captains across the world, both male and female, who represent each country the brand operates in around the world, and the diverse backgrounds of its people.

"After 27 successful years in South Africa and a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc within the travel industry, we have jumped at the opportunity to refresh one of the most iconic and trusted travel brands in South Africa," says Andrew Stark, Managing Director of the Flight Centre Travel Group Middle East and Africa. "Our new and refreshed look will complement our differentiated offerings for the new world of travel," says Stark.

"We are incredibly proud to have Phil on board, a captain that resonates and aligns with our customer base," says Sue Garrett, Flight Centre Travel Group General Manager Product and Marketing.

"From about 10 or 11 years old, I knew I wanted to be a pilot," says Nyemba. Nyemba graduated with a BSc to appease his parents, who wanted him to go to university first. He graduated and then immediately joined the Zimbabwean Air Force. He was awarded the prestigious Sword of Honour, the first post-independence pilot in the country to receive it.

"My journey with Flight Centre began as a client," says Nyemba. "I booked flights to the UK with them and a holiday to Mauritius over the past ten years or so. It was a no brainer to work with them.

"Promoting flying and travel through Flight Centre couldn't be more perfect. I hope kids might see me and become inspired to become pilots one day," adding that he would always encourage the youth to pursue their passion. "It doesn't matter what anybody says. If you are passionate about something, pursue it."

"We really wanted to showcase our team, the people at the centre of our narrative as well, so we selected some of our local team members to be our 'co-captains," says Garrett.

The global brand campaign introduces a new Flight Centre tagline: Experience our experience!

"We knew we had a significant amount of combined travel experience, but even we were astounded when we compiled the stats," says Garrett. "In South Africa, we have a combined 818 years of travel experience and 6,000 nights at sea – at least, as that's from less than half of our 220 Flight Centre Travel Experts across the country.

Flight Centre's new captain is not just passionate about flying but travel in general. Nyemba's favourite destination, without a doubt, is Mauritius. "I love to explore; I love to see stuff. Mauritius is a favourite because there are just so many activities to enjoy," adding that he's not a relax on the beach type of traveller.

Where next for the Flight Centre Captain? Japan. "For my birthday four years ago, my wife bought me an actual bucket for my travel 'bucket list.' The first name to go into the bucket was Japan. I'm really fascinated by the culture."

As for Africa, Nyemba encourages Africans to explore our continent. "I've been all over Africa and only had good experiences. I'd say go see for yourself, go explore for yourself. You'd be surprised to discover what's out there," says Nyemba, citing Liberia as a country that, despite what little you may know about it, is "absolutely stunning" on the ground, as well as Mozambique.

Been there too? Tag Flight Centre in your TikTok or Instagram post using #BeenThereWithFC and your post could be featured on their pages!

Visit www.flightcentre.co.za to view the microsite and see Captain Phil in action!