“She is the first, but not the last,” Netanyahu said regarding the first ultra-Orthodox female pilot to fly an Israeli prime minister overseas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was flown by an ultra-Orthodox female pilot on Wednesday to Thessaloniki, Greece for a trilateral summit with Greek and Cypriot leaders.
It was the first time an ultra-Orthodox female co-piloted a trip for an Israeli prime minister, and the moment, while undoubtedly meaningful for the pilot, who referred to flying as her “life’s dream,” was also an inspirational one for Netanyahu.
“She is the first, but not the last,” Netanyahu said before departing.
As originally reported by Yediot Ahronot, the pilot, Nechama Spiegel Novak, was accepted into the 2015 El Al pilots’ course. El Al is the Israeli airline company that flies prime ministers abroad.
According to Ynet, a sister media company of Yedioth Ahronoth, Nechama’s aspirations to work in the aviation field began at least as far back as when she was 20. At that age, she traveled to the United States to take the pre-requisite flight lessons needed for a pilot’s license.
After successfully acquiring a pilot’s license, she attempted to enter EL AL’s pilot course, but lacked the necessary flight hours. She acquired additional flight hours in the United States until, in 2015, she was notified of her acceptance to the EL AL pilot course in October that year.
Her course completion was delayed due to maternity leave.