First Female First Officer in KSA Appointed |

A Saudi Arabia First: Local Female Commercial Pilot Takes to the Skies

Spearheading a new era in Saudi aviation, Yasmeen Al Maimani becomes the first female First Officer in KSA.

Posted on

19 June 2019

Last updated on 23 June 2019
Yasmeen Al Maimani becomes the first female First Officer in KSA

Credit: @captain0jazz/Instagram

Making history as Saudi Arabia’s first female commercial pilot.

29-year-old Yasmeen Al Maimani reached new heights for Saudi women in aviation by becoming the first female commercial pilot in KSA. Al Maimani made her way into Nesma Airlines, a Saudi Arabian airline that offers domestic flights within the region as well as international flights to Egypt.

On Sunday, June 9 she shared her joy on social media, receiving congratulatory support from her followers on her milestone achievement.

The photo captured her in the cockpit with the caption, “Elhamdullah achieved my dream today released as First Officer.”

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She added that people should “never underestimate others”.

But it wasn’t smooth sailing in the beginning

After obtaining her pilot’s license in the US and logging in over 300 flight hours, she wanted to convert it from an American one to a Saudi one.

She returned to Saudi Arabia in 2013 to realize her dream – but was refused at every door. After some time, becoming a pilot back home seemed like a dream that meant reaching for the sky.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, she said, “I have a government license, and I have all the requirements needed for the job, however, we did not get the opportunity to work. I knocked many doors for a job, but the refusal is still going on under the pretext that women’s jobs as female captain do not exist, even though there are training institutes on aviation and there are institutes in Jeddah and Dammam.’’

Al Maimani didn’t give up. She eventually joined Nesma Airlines as a pilot trainee and that opportunity paved the way for her to make history for Arab women.

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Last week, she posted a clip from her inaugural flight as First Officer. The trip involved flying from Hail to Al Qasim, then to Tabuk and returning to Hail.

What's next for Al Maimani

“I thought it was going to be hard, being a female pilot based in Hail but it hasn’t been. I feel so comfortable with everyone else here, and the way they treat me. It’s like they are all my brothers, it’s a good feeling,” she told The National.

Currently, she is concentrating on logging in more flying hours to meet her goal of becoming a captain. She also plans to get involved in social work in Saudi Arabia.

Al Maimani said, ‘’It's my goal that every girl or woman who dreams of becoming a pilot can see me and be inspired.’’

As part of Saudi Arabia's post-oil economic plan - Vision 2030 - the nation has been making great leaps towards women's equal rights. Last year, Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women driving.

“I really appreciate my company and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for giving me this chance, and also for including women’s rights in Vision 2030,” she said.