TOP HUNS: Saudi Airline Hails First Flight With All-Female Crew

Story By:  Ana MarjanovicSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency:  Newsflash

Saudi Arabia is celebrating its first commercial airline flight with an all-female crew.

The domestic flight in an Airbus A320 from Riyadh to Jeddah took off on Friday, 20th May.

Flyadeal, a Saudi low-cost airline announced its first internal flight in the Kingdom with a fully female crew, most of them Saudis.

The post of Saudi low-cost airline, Flyadeal, announced the first domestic flight in the Kingdom with a fully female crew, most of them Saudis. (@flyadeal/Newsflash)

The airline announced the coup on their official Twitter account @flyadeal saying: “For the first time in Saudi aviation history! #flyadeal operated the first flight with an all-female crew, the majority of which are Saudis by the newest A320 aircraft. Flight 117, flew from #Riyadh to #Jeddah.”

Saudi women already have a history of proving themselves in many careers that men dominated for a long time, now including aviation-related positions.

With a crew of seven, Flight 117 was co-piloted by Yara Jan, 23, who is also the youngest Saudi female pilot.

Jan told Arab News that she was very proud to be taking part in such a historic moment in aviation for Saudi women.

She said: “As a Saudi woman trying to lead my country with a proud step it was a moment of pride and joy.”

Jan graduated from flight school in Florida, US, in 2019, and joined Flyadeal a year ago.

She said that being the co-pilot meant assisting the pilot in many key role tasks such as navigation and completing many checklists.

Jan said she is aware of the positive impact that her actions cause on young Saudi women.

She added: “Although being a Saudi woman pilot is new, it is not impossible for their generation, especially with the backing that they are receiving from their beloved country and their respected leaders, who have supported her a lot to become the youngest female pilot in a Saudi airline.”

The number of Saudi female pilots has grown recently.

Hanadi Zakaria Al-Hindi was the first female pilot to fly with a Saudi commercial pilot license.

Rawia Al-Rifi was the first to fly an Airbus A320 internationally as a civil aircraft from the UAE.

Co-pilot Yasmin Al-Maimani, was the first woman to co-pilot a commercial plane in the Kingdom.

Statistics showed that female participation in Saudi Arabia’s workforce rose a lot.

It went from 19 per cent in 2016, to the staggering number of 33 per cent at the end of 2020.

By 2030, 95 billion dollars are planned to be invested by Saudi Arabia into its aviation sector.

They are also aiming to reach 330 million passengers by increasing connections from Saudi to 250 destinations.

Saudi Arabia also wants to build an international airport in Riyadh, as well as eight more regional ones.