Riyadh Air Joint Venture for Colleges and Airlines Empower Women in Aviation – Travel And Tour World

Riyadh Air, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s newly established national airline, has reached a significant milestone in its journey toward its inaugural flight in 2025. The company welcomed its first cohort of 27 pioneering female students who have embarked on a 30-month diploma course to become certified aircraft engineering technicians. This groundbreaking initiative marks a historic moment for Saudi Arabia as female engineers will receive training under the supervision of Aviation Australia and the International Aviation Technical College at Riyadh Airport. The collaboration stems from an MOU signed between Riyadh Air and the Colleges of Excellence in August 2023, marking the beginning of several joint efforts between the organizations.

Selected from a pool of thousands of applicants, these aspiring engineers are all Saudi high school graduates with outstanding academic records. Riyadh Air’s decision to exclusively enroll females in its inaugural intake underscores its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, setting a positive precedent for women’s participation in the aviation industry.

During a visit to the Riyadh Airport facility, senior leaders from Riyadh Air, including CEO Tony Douglas, H.E. Mark Donovan, the Australian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and Engineer Ajman Abdullah, CEO of Colleges of Excellence, met with the trainee engineers. Currently, female aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians constitute only 3.0% of the global workforce, according to ICAO statistics. Riyadh Air’s initiative not only addresses this gender gap but also anticipates a future shortage of qualified maintenance workers by tapping into the growing talent pool of Saudi women eager to pursue non-traditional roles in the industry.

Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air said, Riyadh Air is an airline that will challenge perceptions while representing the modern, dynamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Diversity and inclusion is an important pillar of our business and introducing young women to the technical side of our airline demonstrates that we are serious about creating an airline that meets the expectations of Vision 2030. We are fortunate that our engineers are students at the International Aviation technical College under the Colleges of Excellence banner and accredited by Aviation Australia, one of the most prestigious global aviation schools and we fully expect these ladies to be part of the future leadership of Riyadh Air.

H.E. Mark Donovan, Australia Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia commented: It was great to join Colleges of Excellence and the CEO of Riyadh Air at the International Aviation Technical College to meet the first women who have joined the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Program. This is a great step and it is fantastic to know that Australia’s world leading education sector OSS once again enabling women’s economic participation as Saudi Arabia moves forward with Vision 2030.

Engineer Ayman Abdullah, CEO of Colleges of Excellence, said: We are proud to support this pioneering batch of female trainees in the field of aircraft maintenance engineering in partnership with Riyadh Air, and we believe in their capabilities to achieve excellence in this dynamic field. Colleges of Excellence work to provide a stimulating educational and training environment for the trainees and provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their professional developments. We are keen to support the women national competencies in various fields and provide them with proper job opportunities.

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