The first ever female pilot of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is stating that she is now looking for a job as a captain in an airline in the Middle East, after having flown one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world. Hanadi Zakaria Al Hindi has stated that it is her dream to become a commercial aircraft pilot after she made history by becoming the first ever woman in the Kingdom to attain a flying license nearly ten years ago. The 37-year-old pilot once worked for Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud who had also made headlines when he purchased and completely customized an A380 superjumbo aircraft, which has been flying in his company’s fleet ever since. Recommended: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal buys A380 Aircraft for SR 1.2 billion[irp]
The prince is also one of the richest men in the world and is an avid supporter of women’s education. The prince even spoke of his efforts in supporting women and had also sponsored the training of Al Hindi. Currently Al Hindi is one of only two Saudi women who have acquired a flying license, yet they cannot drive a car on the roads of the Kingdom under the conservative laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Hindi added that she missed the cockpit immensely as it is her passion to fly.
She repeated that it is her dream to become a commercial airline pilot. Al Hindi spoke to a newspaper during an Airport Show which was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Al Hindi had been attending a forum by the name of Arab Women in Aviation which had brought together pilots from every corner of the world.
When she was asked whether she would consider a position in an airline of the UAE such as Etihad or Emirates, Al Hindi stated that she is open to all opportunities, however, she would ideally prefer to fly for her own national airlines, Saudi Arabia. Al Hindi added that she is struggling. It took her a long time in order to get approved by the Saudi government however she is now not getting a job in Saudi Arabia. Al Hindi stated that she owed all her success to Prince Al Waleed, the Saudi Business Tycoon, who according to her had supported her from the very beginning.
Al Hindi states that after her father, Prince Al Waleed had been her biggest supporter. She owes him a lot and also dedicates all of her success to him. She states that this is a unique situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia unlike any place in the world; however, she personally feels that it is not something that could hold her back.[irp]
She added jokingly that it is much better to get a driver so that you do not have to worry about finding a parking spot when going any place. She also stated that not being able to drive isn’t the biggest issue women should be focusing on.