Saudi airline Flyadal has made history in the country’s civil aviation sector with its all-female flights. As The National reported on Sunday, the low-cost subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s largest national airline uses Airbus A320s to operate domestic flights on the Riyadh-Jeddah route. Most of the passengers on board were Saudi nationals.
All seven crew members, including the pilot and flight attendant, were women, and co-pilot Yara Yan was the youngest of the Saudi pilots. Airline spokesman Imad Iskandarani said most of the crew were from Saudi Arabia.
In recent years, after giving women greater rights and opportunities in the kingdom, Saudi women have managed to prove themselves in many sectors, including aviation. So in 2019, 29-year-old Yasmine al-Maimani became the first senior officer to fly a commercial aircraft in the country.
The authorization for women to fly planes took place in 2014 in Saudi Arabia, although at the time these were only isolated cases. In 2018, a Saudi aviation academy was opened based on the Oxford Aviation Academy’s first flight branch in the Middle East and North Africa, which trains pilots, including women, says Russian agency TASS .
According to data from the Central Statistics Office, in 2020 the number of women employed in professional activities increased to 33% compared to 19% in 2016.
By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to attract US$95 billion of investment in the aviation industry. The sector development strategy aims to increase connecting flights from Saudi Arabia to 250 destinations, reaching 330 million passengers. The Kingdom plans to launch another airline and build a major international airport in Riyadh.