By Courtney Trenwith
Hanadi Al Hindi, who made headlines in 2005 when she graduated in Jordan to become the first Saudi female pilot, says she will finally be able to fly in her home country
One of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s personal pilots has reportedly been granted the first female pilot’s licence in the kingdom.
Hanadi Al Hindi made headlines in 2005 when she became the first Saudi woman to gain a commercial pilot’s licence, after graduating from the Middle East Academy for Commercial Aviation in Amman, Jordan.
Under a 10-year contract with Kingdom Holding Company, she has been flying the billionaire prince around the world on his personal jet, Kingdom, but has been unable to fly in her home country, Saudi Arabia.
Al Hindi told Arab News the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) had now granted her a licence to fly in Saudi Arabia.
GACA has not confirmed the announcement.
“Saudi women are capable of taking on any job previously held exclusively by men in Saudi Arabia,” Al Hindi, who wears a head scarf and is helping other Saudi women pursue a flying career in the US, told Arab News.
Prince Alwaleed has supported female progression in the conservative kingdom, where, ironically, women are not allowed to drive.
I AM VERY HAPY AND PROUD FOR MY ARAB SISTERS ALLAH BLESS YOU
just an after-thought. In the late 70s early 1980s, Transamerica Airlines operated a weekly 747 flight into and out of Dhahran on behalf of Aramco. There was a female pilot working for them in those days who regularly flew the route, even though some of my Saudi colleagues believed she only sat in the pilot's seat after the flight landed and the rest of the time, she helped the cabin crew serve drinks and food!
Good to see that things are moving some 30+ years later...