Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saudi Arabia's First Woman Pilot

Keeping in line with the reforms sweeping Saudi Arabia, the kingdom will soon see its first woman pilot taking over the skies. Capt. Hanadi Zakariya Hindi will begin her flying stint with one of the jets belonging to Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, founder and chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, later this year as soon as she completes her advance pilot proficiency training programme.
Capt. Hanadi Zakariya Hindi
Though this is a path-breaking achievement for the 26-year-old first accredited female Saudi pilot, she will still need to be driven by a male chauffeur to the airport, the Arab News said. Women are still not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia."I am busy building my flying hours and will be attending a short-term course to equip myself with more intimate knowledge of the jet owned by Prince Alwaleed," Hindi said. Being proud to be the first Saudi woman to fly professionally she claimed the aviation industry is no longer a male bastion."I recently met Aisha Al-Hamli, the first Emirati woman pilot, in Dubai," Hindi remarked.