Riyadh Air to train its first female Saudi aircraft engineers

New national airline aims to enhance women's participation in the aviation industry

Hanadi Hindi from Saudi Arabia gives the thumbs up as she sits in the cockpit of the American Piper Archor 2000 plane before take off at Marka airport in Amman April 30, 2003. The first ever Saudi woman pilot Hanadi Hindi currently training in Jordan, said flying had given her freedom from conservative traditions and she hopes that women from Saudi Arabia would enjoy one day.
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Riyadh Air is to train female engineers to become part of its aircraft maintenance teams.

Saudi Arabia's new national airline said it signed a partnership agreement with Colleges of Excellence, a pioneer in technical and vocational training in aircraft maintenance engineering for men and women.

This partnership highlights the two institutions' efforts to enhance women's participation in the aviation industry, officials said.

It will provide mentorship and on-the-job training for women, helping to empower Saudi women as part of Saudi Vision 2030.

The agreement was signed by the chief executive of Riyadh Air, Tony Douglas, and the chief executive of Colleges of Excellence, Ayman Al Abdullah.

Trainees will learn about aircraft maintenance and advanced technology during the programme.

Riyadh Air, which was launched in March and plans to start operating flights in 2025, aims to hire up to 700 pilots in the next three years.

In 2022, Flynas, the kingdom's low-cost national airline, launched programmes to localise jobs in the aviation sector with training for 30 Saudi engineers.

The airline aims to grow and expand in the country by increasing the number of destinations it serves and buying more aircraft.

Flynas was the first Saudi national airline to open up cabin crew roles to Saudi women.

In May last year, Flyadeal, a budget subsidiary of flag carrier Saudia, became the kingdom’s first airline with an all-female crew, from pilot to cabin staff, on a flight from Riyadh to Jeddah.

On that flight, Hanadi Hindi, who passed her flying exams in 2005, made history when she became the first woman to fly a plane with a Saudi commercial pilot's licence, earned at the Mideast Aviation Academy in Amman that year.

Updated: August 30, 2023, 12:28 PM