Female aviators on the rise in Saudi Arabia

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia kickstarts its training programmes with its first intake of 27 pioneering ladies and high school graduates. They will join Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Programme as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. With a shortfall of qualified maintenance workers in the near future, Riyadh Air is harnessing on expanding talent pool of KSA females keen to enter non-traditional roles.

TT Bureau

This programme is another significant step on its road to its first flight in 2025 by Riyadh Air, the new national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first intake of 27 pioneering females commenced their 30-month diploma course on their path to become certified aircraft engineering technicians. In a first in the Kingdom, female engineers will study under the guidance of Aviation Australia and the International Aviation Technical College at Riyadh Airport, following an MoU between Riyadh Air and Colleges of Excellence in August 2023 and is the first collaboration of many between the organisations.

These budding engineers were  chosen from thousands of applicants who wished to be part of the Riyadh Air story as it moves towards future operations. Riyadh Air has chosen females for its first intake of trainee engineers to be placed on the apprenticeship programme. Tony Douglas, CEO, Riyadh Air, H.E. Mark Donovan, Australian Ambassador to the KSA, and Engineer Ajman Abdullah, CEO, Colleges of Excellence, met with the trainee engineers during a visit to the facility.

Currently, female aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians account for 3.0% (*ICAO statistics) of the global workforce. With a shortfall of qualified maintenance workers expected in the coming years, Riyadh Air is harnessing on expanding talent pool of KSA females keen to enter non-traditional roles.

“Riyadh Air will challenge perceptions while representing the modern, dynamic KSA. Ensuring that we are well represented in terms of gender equality, introducing women to the technical side demonstrates that we are serious about creating an airline that meets the expectations of Vision 2030. We are fortunate our engineers are students at the International Aviation Technical College under the Colleges of Excellence banner and accredited by Aviation Australia, aone of the prestigious global aviation schools, and we expect them to be part of the Riyadh Air’s future leadership,” Douglas said. “It is great for the CEO of Riyadh Air at the International Aviation Technical College to meet the first women who have joined the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Programme. It is fantastic to know Australia’s leading education sector OSS has once again enabled women’s economic participation as KSA moves forward with Vision 2030,” His Excellency Mark Donovan, commented. “We are proud to support this batch in the field of aircraft maintenance engineering in partnership with Riyadh Air. The Colleges of Excellence provides them with an educational and training environment but also gives them the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their respective fields. We are keen to support the women national competencies in various fields and provide them with proper job opportunities,” Engineer Abdullah averred.

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