In a first for Saudi Arabia, airline operates flight with all-female crew

Majority of the seven-member crew were Saudi women, including the first officer, but not the captain, who was a foreign woman

Riyadh: For the first time in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi airline operated the first flight with an all-female crew.

The Saudi low-cost airline flyadeal took off the first flight with all-female crew from the capital, Riyadh, bound for Jeddah on Thursday, May 19, in a move described as a significant event on the path to empowering Saudi women,

The airline’s on their official Twitter account flyadeal on Friday wrote,“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”

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Flyadeal spokesperson Emad Iskandarani said, the majority of the seven-member crew were Saudi women, including the first officer, but not the captain, who was a foreign woman, AFP reported.

Saudi Vision 2030

Saudi targets for the aviation sector, which fall under what is described as Vision 2030 reforms, include a more than threefold increase in passenger traffic annually to 300 million passengers by the end of the current decade.

The kingdom also aims to attract $ 100 billion in investments to the sector by 2030, establish new national airlines, build a major airport in Riyadh and increase cargo by five million tonnes annually.

For decades, Saudi Arabia had one of the lowest rates of female labour force participation in the world. The Middle-East region has always lagged behind the rest of the world when it comes to women and the job market.

In recent years, the participation of Saudi women has increased from 20% in late 2018 to 33% by the end of 2020.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to change economic and social rules as part of his vision 2030 plan to diversify the country’s economy.

The country in recent years adopted several reforms to empower women, including ensuring that women can drive cars, and enter playgroups, and stadiums. The recent reforms have also ensured that women are able to pursue occupations that were previously accessible only to men.

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