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Sun 9 Mar 2014 11:22 AM

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Saudi airline accused of discrimination

Five female flight dispatchers say they were promised jobs with airline

Saudi airline accused of discrimination
Saudi airline

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is the subject of discrimination claims from five trained female flight dispatchers after they were told they could not get jobs with the airline despite having adequate qualifications, it was reported.

Nouf Al Shuaibi said the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) promised the women, who had enrolled in the flight dispatcher diploma at a private flight academy in Jeddah, that it would find them jobs after they graduated, Makkah Daily reported.

However, she said it had not lived up to the promise.

She called on authorities to create job opportunities for the women who each spent over SR30,000 ($7,998) on tuition fees.

Aisha Al Jafari, who also studied at the academy, reportedly said that she did not think Saudia “has any plans to offer such positions to women in the near future”.

“Saudi women have proved themselves in almost all fields and in some cases they ventured into male-dominated jobs and proved as effective and competitive,” she said.

GACA spokesman Khalid Al Khaibari, denied that it had ever promised the five women jobs.

“We granted nine girls, five of them Saudi, flight dispatcher licences after they completed an accredited diploma,” he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“But we didn’t give them any promises regarding jobs because GACA only grants licences.”

Saudia said the 83 Saudi women among its staff held positions in different departments, including information technology, customer service and financing.

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