In the summer of 2017, the first female pilot to hail from Afghanistan is set to fly her Beechcraft Bonanza around the globe to inspire women to pursue careers in aviation, and the in-flight catering specialist Air Culinaire Worldwide will be sponsoring her pioneering journey, utilizing the extensive reach of its network to provide catering at 30 destinations throughout the voyage.
The pilot embarking on this ambitious flight, Shaesta Waiz, is the founder of Dreams Soar, Inc, a non-profit organization encouraging young women to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as aviation education and aerospace. And this will be the message Waiz strives to promote on her 25,000-mile, 90-day journey. “Every time I open the door of an aircraft, I ask myself, ‘How did a girl with my background become so lucky?’ The truth is, anyone can be me,” she exclaims.
With Air Culinaire Worldwide as the sponsor, the adventure will be documented on each of the company’s social media channels, with an insight into the destinations Waiz passes through, and the cuisine that reflects each of those nations.
The Vice President of Flight Attendant Services, John Detloff, has even designed a menu specifically for Waiz, stating: “She could very well be the reason we have thousands of new female pilots in this industry. We are more than honored to help her on her historic flight and mission to impact the future of aviation.”
The solo flight will begin and end at Daytona Beach International Airport, with stops in Canada, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Australia in-between. A number of stops have been scheduled for the United States, too, including Columbus in Ohio, Hilo in Hawaii, El Cajon in California, and Phoenix in Arizona, as well as Wichita in Kansas, Grand Rapids in Michigan, and Cincinnati in Ohio, not to forget Washington, D.C., Atlanta in Georgia, and Mobile in Alabama. The longest leg of the global flight is between Hawaii and California, which extends 2,184 nautical miles over the Pacific Ocean.
Following on from her journey, Waiz plans to continue her work in empowering women through Dreams Soar, Inc., through flight training, outreach events with her Dream Team, and her work as a motivational speaker.