TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A British-Belgian teenager will be landing in Taipei on Tuesday (Dec. 14) as part of her quest to become the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.
Zara Rutherford, 19, will take off in her custom-made Shark ultralight plane from Seoul on Tuesday morning and land at Taipei's Songshan Airport at around noon, announced Executive Aviation. Upon arrival, she will be transported to a quarantine center where she will spend the night before flying to the Philippines on Wednesday (Dec. 15).
Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that Rutherford will follow the COVID protocols used by foreign flight crews transiting through Taiwan. Therefore, she will be exempt from the quarantine requirements that regular travelers must adhere to.
Rutherford began her 51,000-kilometer globe-trotting journey on Aug. 18 in Belgium. Her flight will span five continents and 52 countries.
Her goal is to set the Guinness World Record as the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe and the youngest person to do so in a microlight aircraft. The current record is held by Afghan American pilot Shaesta Wais, who accomplished the feat at the age of 30 in 2017.
Rutherford stated on her website that she has taken up the challenge to "encourage girls and young women to pursue their dreams." She also has the goal of reducing "the gender gap in Aviation as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)."