This piece also appeared on The Urban Times.
20-year-old Yasmeen Muhammad Yusuf Al-Maimani has successfully received her commercial pilot license, making her the second Saudi woman to do so after Hanadi Zakaria Al-Hindi.
Al-Hindi gained her own license earlier this year, and became the first Saudi woman to be allowed to fly an airplane within the Kingdom. Al-Maimani has followed in her footsteps, first earning her private pilot license back in 2010 in Jordan.
She trained at the Royal Jordan Air Academy along with the support of her instructor Captain Hasan Al-Majali, and the academy’s manager, Captain Faisal Al-Zawehra.
She had previously returned to the Kingdom and worked for a year with the Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy in Jeddah before receiving an offer to be an ambassador to the Middle East from the Aerosim Flight Academy in Florida, USA.
The academy also gave her a scholarship to study for a commercial pilot license and Al-Maimani immediately accepted, travelling to the US.
Soon, she came back to Saudi Arabia to work in flight operation services and subsequently passed the General Authority of Civil Aviation exam. Since receiving her commercial pilot license, which normally costs around 300,000 Saudi riyals (£47,000), she has said that she hopes to fly with Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Al-Maimani must now start building hours in a plane in order to gain more experience and raise her chances of being employed by a major airline. Talking to Sameera Aziz, a prominent Saudi journalist, she states:
“I want to encourage Saudi women to embark on the grand adventure of aviation!”
And no doubt Al-Maimani’s accomplishments will continue to give confidence to more women in Saudi Arabia who wish to pursue careers in aviation.