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Teen pilot lands in Saudi Arabia in record solo round-world flight

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Teen pilot lands in Saudi Arabia in record solo round-world flight
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Belgian-British teenage pilot, Zara Rutherford, arrives in Riyadh as part of her Fly Zolo mission to break the world record. (SPA)

Riyadh: In her attempt to break the record for the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, Belgian-British teenage pilot, Zara Rutherford, touched down at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Thursday.

World's leading air compressor manufacturers Elgi Equipmentsone is sponsoring 19-year-old Zara's record-breaking attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Following Guinness World record requirements, Zara left Belgium on August 18, 2021, to complete her journey across 52 countries and five continents and is scheduled to return to Belgium on Jan. 13, 2022.

Zara embarked on the journey with the hope of helping reduce the gender gap in Aviation as well as in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Passing through the countries in the world's fastest, Shark ultralight plane, Zara stopped off in the Kingdom from the UAE as part of her tour, which is meant to encourage girls and women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as to stimulate girls' interest in aviation, a statement on Saudi Press Agency said.

In line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, the Saudi Aviation Club, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Riyadh Airports Company coordinated to host the adventurous young pilot with the aim to shed light on the role of women in the aviation sector, and in particular empower Saudi women in the field.

As told to reporters, Zara said that she was pleased to arrive in Riyadh and that the flight had exceeded all her expectations and gave her unforgettable moments and tremendous challenges.

"I enjoyed the wonderful view when flying over the Kingdom, and every moment I had was an exceptional experience," Zara said.

Zara, the daughter of two pilots, will begin university next year with the goal of becoming an astronaut.

According to her website, she aims to break three Guinness World Records by travelling around the world alone: the youngest woman to fly solo around the world; the first woman to circumnavigate the world in a microlight, and the first Belgian to circumnavigate the world solo in a single-engine aircraft.

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