All-Women Flight Crew Makes History in Saudi Arabia
Royal Brunei airlines makes a statement about gender inequality.
An all-women crew made history recently after being the first to pilot a Royal Brunei Airlines flight in honor of Brunei National Day. The trip also was historically significant because the destination was Saudi Arabia, where women are banned from driving a car.
Captain Sharifah Czarena and senior first officers Sariana Nordin and Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem took over the controls of flight BI081, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner making the route from Brunei to Jeddah on February 23, according to Newsweek. While the flight raised awareness about gender inequality in the Middle East, Czarena first made history for the airline in December 2012, when she became the first Royal Brunei pilot to fly out of London Heathrow in yet another Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“As a woman, a Bruneian woman, it is such a great achievement,” Czarena told the Brunei Times at the time. “It’s really showing the younger generation or the girls especially that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it.”
This recent flight is just one of the many ways the airline is raising awareness about recruiting women to join the aviation industry. The company took to Instagram to share news that they were starting an engineering apprentice program that was open to women alongside a photo of their female flight crew.
Royal Brunei isn’t the only company to have operated an all-women flight crew recently. Last week, Air Canada and Air India promoted long-haul flights operated entirely by women in honor of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week and International Women’s Day.