Saudi national carrier flynas celebrated the graduation of the second batch of its Future Pilots program on Tuesday.
Bandar Al-Muhanna, Chief Executive Officer of Nas Holding, Mr. Paul Byrne, CEO of flynas and Captain Mansour Al-Harbi, Chief Operations Officer at flynas, honored the graduates, along with Nas Holding staff, guests and members of the media, in a ceremony at Rafal Tower Kempinski Hotel in Riyadh.
Muhanna voiced the pride of flynas to hire young Saudis and qualify them for major positions in the private sector.
“We are very happy to celebrate the graduation of this distinguished group of our compatriots in the Future Pilots program today,” he said.
“The program is an important one to flynas because it is meant to train and develop the skills of young Saudis for the many and varied branches of the aviation industry, using comprehensive training and development programs. This is part of flynas’ ambitious outlook towards building a team of highly qualified Saudis.”
Muhanna underlined flynas’ confidence in the abilities and qualifications of Saudis, reiterating that the national carrier will continue with its initiatives to train and hire Saudis.
“We will give talented Saudis the opportunities they deserve so they can achieve success at flynas,” he said.
“We successfully raised Saudization to 60% in all departments and leadership positions, and through this training and qualification activity, we aim to build a team of specialists who will take flynas to new heights.”
Harbi said that members of the new batch of more than 50 graduates, which includes pilots, co-pilots and traffic dispatchers, had joined flynas in regular administrative jobs.
“However, with their ambition, and with encouragement from their superiors, they were determined to become co-pilots,” he said.
“We look forward to seeing them soon become ace pilots.
“We at flynas are keen to provide training and hiring opportunities to young, ambitious Saudis. This program will enable us to achieve the objectives of the Saudization program, which is in line with the company’s vision of commitment to nationalization, and which will ultimately help us achieve our primary objective of serving our community and giving our beloved country a flawless image.”
Mansour said that about 120 young Saudis had joined the program since its launch, which helped raise the ratio of Saudi pilots working for the airline to 80%.
Harbi said that the program includes a number of academic and practical courses, as well as numerous exams required for graduation. The graduates are now set to receive certification from the General Authority for Civil Aviation, and will receive further training at top national and international institutions.
The 10-year Future Pilots program aims to qualify 100 Saudi pilots, who will eventually receive flying licenses and work for flynas. In addition to academic and practical studies, the program includes actual training on flying to help future pilots gain enough hours to work for flynas.
The company covers the entire cost of training for candidates.