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RIYADH: Riyadh-based carrier Flynas has announced plans to recruit Saudi women to work as co-pilots and flight attendants for the first time, just months after the kingdom lifted a decades-long ban on female motorists.

Women are not legally barred from working in the aviation sector, but jobs as flight attendants with Saudi carriers have largely been held by female foreign workers from countries such as the Philippines.

Nearly 1,000 Saudi women have applied for co-pilot positions with Flynas in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for the airline told AFP on Thursday, as the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom relaxes gender restrictions amid the far-reaching liberalisation drive.

“Flynas is keen to empower Saudi women to play an important role in the kingdom’s transformation,” the low-cost carrier said on Wednesday in its call for applications. “Women ... are an essential part of the airline’s success.”

The recruitment drive comes just days after Flyadeal, another low-cost Saudi carrier, began posting jobs for Saudi women to work as flight attendants.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2018