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Saudi women reach for the clouds

For two years now, the renowned Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah has been training many Saudi women to become flight attendants. As part of a national effort to localise jobs and empower women, many female students have been following intensive training programmes for two months. Here is a look back at a career path where the graduation will take place above the clouds.

Saudi women can now become flight attendants 

Historically, although women have always worked as flight attendants, this profession was previously reserved for other nationalities in Saudi Arabia. Now, since the creation of this training by the aviation academy in Jeddah, more than 37 women have already received the diploma and can now proudly work alongside their male colleagues on national and international flights. 

For two months, the female students follow an intensive training programme tailored to their specific needs, from customer service to pre-flight procedures, including boarding, safety and security procedures and first aid

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According to Bailasan Ahmad, a student in training, “During the training, I learned about safety and how to deal with different emergency situations, such as medical emergencies and fires. The young woman is grateful for the opportunity and proud to present herself as a Saudi national of the Saudi Airlines group”.

100% success rate for the academy 

According to one of the academy’s officials, the Saudi female students, who are under 30 years of age and have already graduated from high school, have performed exceptionally well during their professional training. 

In fact, the success rate is 100%.

Hattan Al-Sharif has worked for Saudi Airlines since 2002. As a flight attendant instructor, he has been teaching flight duty for the past three years. For him, “the female students are amazing in their knowledge and performance“. “I believe that no one would be more perfect to represent the culture and hospitality of Saudi Airlines than Saudi women” he continues.

A country looking for new opportunities for its people 

Among the measures to diversify the Kingdom’s economy, one of the objectives of Vision 2030 is to increase the percentage of women in the country’s workforce to 30 per cent and thus reduce the Kingdom’s unemployment rate to 7 per cent.

To this end, the General Authority for Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia announced earlier this year a plan to create 10,000 new jobs in the airline industry, including 28 specialised occupations in the sector by 2023, including flight attendant jobs.

Student Alaa Allaf, who dreamed of becoming a stewardess when she was 16 years old, even though women were not yet recruited for the job, says “I am grateful for the huge changes taking place in the Kingdom, offering Saudi women endless opportunities. I am sure that we will prove our excellence and skills in all areas”. 

Have a safe flight! 

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Published on 25 August 2021