Riyadh Air Inducts First Female Engineer Trainees

An intake of 27 Saudi female engineer trainees.
Photo Credit: Riyadh Air

Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s new national carrier, Riyadh Air, has taken another significant step on its road to its first flight in 2025.

The airline recently welcomed 27 pioneering Saudi women as their first intake of trainee aircraft engineering technicians.

This historic move marks the first all-female engineering program in the Kingdom’s aviation sector.

First Saudi Female Intake

These talented young women, all high-school graduates with impressive academic records, were chosen from a vast pool of applicants eager to contribute to Riyadh Air’s journey.

Demonstrating a strong commitment to inclusivity, the airline selected these women to spearhead its engineering apprenticeship program.

A visit to the training facility at Riyadh Airport brought together senior leaders from Riyadh Air.

Attendees included CEO Tony Douglas, H.E. Mark Donovan (Australian Ambassador), and Engineer Ajman Abdullah (CEO of Colleges of Excellence). This meeting highlighted the significance of this initiative.

Women currently hold a mere 3% of aircraft maintenance technician positions worldwide (ICAO Statistics).

Photo Credit: Riyadh Air.

Empowering Saudi Women

By fostering this diverse talent pool, Riyadh Air anticipates future workforce needs and empowers Saudi women to pursue rewarding non-traditional careers in aviation maintenance.

These roles are crucial for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the airline’s fleet. Technicians perform a variety of tasks, from inspecting and troubleshooting aircraft systems to conducting scheduled maintenance and repairs.

Their expertise is vital for preventing problems before they arise and ensuring the airworthiness of every aircraft.

“Riyadh Air embodies the modern spirit of Saudi Arabia,” declared CEO Tony Douglas. “Gender equality is a cornerstone of our vision, and this program empowers young women to excel on the technical side of our operations.”

“Partnering with the prestigious International Aviation Technical College (under the Colleges of Excellence banner) ensures these future leaders receive a world-class education from Aviation Australia. We are confident they will shape the future of Riyadh Air.”

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Photo Credit: Riyadh Air.

H.E. Mark Donovan, the Australian Ambassador, applauded the initiative: “Witnessing the first female cohort of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Program was truly inspiring.”

“This program exemplifies how Australia’s leading education sector contributes to empowering women in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 journey.”

Engineer Ayman Abdullah, CEO of Colleges of Excellence, expressed his pride: “We are honored to collaborate with Riyadh Air in supporting these pioneering women. We have full faith in their ability to excel in this dynamic field.”

“Our institution offers a stimulating learning environment that equips them with the necessary skills to thrive in their careers. We actively champion women’s professional development and provide them with promising career opportunities.”

About Riyadh Air

A digitally-driven airline, Riyadh Air aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to revolutionize the aviation industry.

It aims to position Riyadh as a global destination and the Kingdom’s primary gateway. Established under PIF’s mandate to diversify the Saudi economy, the airline complements the broader goals of the Saudi Aviation Strategy and the National Tourism Strategy.

It aspires to unlock the Kingdom’s cultural and natural treasures for international visitors while creating significant job opportunities.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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