First for Saudi Arabia as domestic flight takes off with all-female crew

The all-female crew that made hostory in SAudi Arabia (Twitter)

The all-female crew that made hostory in SAudi Arabia (flyadeal Twitter)

JEDDAH: Saudi women have made history by flying a plane with a fully female crew.

“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,” low-cost airline flyadeal have announced on their official Twitter account.

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

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

Saudi women have proved themselves in many careers that men dominated for a long time including aviation-related positions.

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

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

She told the Saudi daily that being the co-pilot means assisting the pilot in many key role tasks such as navigation and completing many checklists.

Jan is aware of how important this is for young Saudi women.

“Although being a Saudi woman pilot is new, it is not impossible for our generation, especially with the backing that we are receiving from our beloved country and our respected leaders, who have supported me a lot to become the youngest female pilot in a Saudi airline. I will always be pleased to have the chance to make a positive change.”

The number of Saudi female pilots has grown recently. Three names stand out: Hanadi Zakaria Al-Hindi, the first female pilot to fly with a Saudi commercial pilot license; Rawia Al-Rifi the first to fly an Airbus A320 internationally as a civil aircraft from the UAE; and co-pilot Yasmin Al-Maimani, who was the first woman to co-pilot a commercial plane in Saudi Arabia.

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