The airline says it wants to “grow the next generation of female pilots” as it brings together two inspirational aviators.
She’s hoping to inspire women around the world by becoming the youngest female pilot to complete a solo round-the-world flight.
But Shaesta Waiz traded in her Beechcraft Bonanza A36 for an Emirates Boeing 777 during her recent trip Dubai. Well, kind of.
The 29-year-old, who was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan, tried her hand at the UAE airline’s simulator challenge during her stopover in the city.
The keen aviator, who flew her first plane at the age of 18, is currently making her way through an 18-country itinerary that will take her an estimated three months to complete.
While in Dubai, Waiz trialled the simulator with Bakhita Al Muheiri, an Emirates Boeing 777 First Officer, at the airline’s aviation college.
Al Muheiri, one of Emirates’ youngest pilots at age 24, described the experience as “inspirational”.
“As the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan, she has demonstrated that the world is full of possibilities and when we expose females to a wide range of careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and aviation we boost their interest to enter fast-moving sectors with a wealth of opportunities,” she said.
Waiz hopes to encourage more females to earn their wings with her solo mission, which she’s undertaken as part of her non-profit Dreams Soar.
“An airplane doesn’t know if you are a girl or boy, what your religion or background is,” the pilot said after her Emirates challenge. “It reacts based on the input of the pilot.”
Waiz took off from Florida on back on May 13, with the aim of covering five continents and more than 25,000 kilometres between then and August.
We’ll keep you updated with her epic journey as it continues to unfold…