First, they took over the streets as soon as Saudi Arabia rescinded its decades-old ban on female motorists. Then they took over the skies a month later when the Kingdom finally allowed women to enrol in flight schools. Now, Saudi women are getting ready once again to go above and beyond in another first for the Kingdom: the country’s low-cost FlyADeal Airlines has just announced 20 job openings for the position of female cabin crew, as reported earlier this week by the local Al-Hayat newspaper.
The budget airliner, which was established in 2016 and launched in 2017 as part of Saudi Arabia’s drive to build up its tourism industry, has specified that all applicants for the position must: be Saudi nationals aged between 23-30, hold at least a diploma degree, have good proficiency in English (both speaking and writing), have swimming skills adequate for depths of about 50 meters and more, and be no less than 1.6 meters in height. In addition, the airliner stated that the application process, which can be done online on its website, will remain open until September 30.
As Saudi Arabia works on diversifying its economy, one major way through developing local tourism, the decision by FlyADeal to hire female air hostesses can be seen as another huge step for the Kingdom, particularly after it was reported in 2015 that its national carrier Saudia would not hire Saudi women to work as cabin crew. Abdul Rahman Al Fahd, spokesperson of Saudia, did not give any specific reason at the time for the decision but did explain that said women could work in the female customer service sections in the reservation offices, in Saudia's commercial sector, which has a sales section for women only, and in the financial sector or in its IT departments.
Earlier this year in March, the country’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) started a training program for Saudi women to become air controllers, another milestone for the Kingdom. Saudi Gazette reported that 12 women were accepted into the program, which is a joint venture between the Saudi Academy for Air Aviation and the Saudi Air Service Company.