(She has to be driven to the airport by a male relative.)
History was made Saturday, as Capt. Hanadi Zakariya Hindi, 27, became the first female pilot accredited to soar over this desert kingdom. Unflinchingly resolute in his endeavor to champion women’s issues and characteristically magnanimous, Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), who sponsored Capt. Hanadi’s training, proposed, “If there is any Saudi lady who is interested in the field of aeronautics or becoming a pilot then I extend her an open invitation to call me. I will fully underwrite any such undertaking from A to Z.”
A graduate of the Amman-based Mideast Aviation Academy, Capt. Hanadi and her proud parents, were received at the Kingdom Holding offices personally by the prince. Evidently pleased by her recruitment to the ranks of his all-male contingent of pilots, Prince Alwaleed expressed his confidence in her abilities and that of Saudi women in general. “I believe that Saudi women are as capable, if not more capable than their male counterparts,” he reiterated.