Riyadh-based airline, Flynas has announced its plans to recruit Saudi women as co-pilots and flight attendants for the first time. This comes just months after the kingdom notorious for its restrictions on women, lifted its decades-long ban on female motorists. As if it was something women were waiting for with bated breath, 1,000 women applied for the co-pilot roles with Flynas.
Although women are not legally barred from working in the aviation sector, but jobs in this sector mostly go out to female foreign workers from countries such as the Philippines.
"Flynas is keen to empower Saudi women to play an important role in the kingdom's transformation. Women are an essential part of the airline's success," the low-cost carrier said in its call for applications on Wednesday.
Their recruitment drive comes just days after another low-cost Saudi carrier, Flyadeal, started posting jobs for Saudi women to work as flight attendants.
In June this year, Saudi women rejoiced as the ban on women driving was lifted indicating an attempt to relax restrictions on women. This move was made as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to transform the country's economy as the top oil exporter. The ban was lifted at midnight but the decision to do so was taken last year. Rejoicing women drove up and down the Al Khobar city streets. Three million women are expected to drive by 2020. Women with international licences were issued domestic ones from June 4 by the Saudi General Traffic Directorate. Many are getting trained at the new state-run schools.
However, the lift on the ban was accompanied by the arrests of multiple women activists who had been protesting it for years.
While the ban on driving has been lifted, women still need to acquire permission from fathers, husbands or other male relatives to travel or get married under the kingdom's strict rules.