Jordan’s Princess Salma bint Abdullah just made history, becoming her country’s first female jet pilot. The news came shortly after her completion of the theoretical and practical pilot training with the Jordanian Armed Forces.
King Abdullah presented his 19-year-old daughter with her aviation wings at the Husseiniya Palace in Amman, marking her official entry as a military pilot at the Jordanian Armed Forces. Also attending the ceremony were her mother, Queen Rania, and her older brother, Crown Prince Hussein, who took to Instagram to congratulate his sister, calling her “brilliant and hard-working as always.”
The princess had previously graduated from a commissioning course at the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in November 2018, which King Abullah and several other members of the Royal Family had also attended. Her paternal aunt, Princess Aisha bint Hussein, was the first Arab woman to attend the academy and graduated in 1987, later serving in Jordan’s special forces.
Arab female pilots have been on the rise in the past decade or so, with the UAE currently employing around 50, and Egypt employing around 12 as of two years ago. Jordan's Carol Rabadi was the first female captain to pilot a Royal Jordanian flight, but the princess is the first in her country's history to become a female military pilot.