Saudia celebrates replacement of foreign co-pilots with nationals

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudia has celebrated the full replacement of foreign co-pilots with Saudis, as the kingdom is seeking to employ more of its citizens.

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“It is a historic day in the life of an institution that is more than 75 years old,” the airline said.

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The carrier, which flies to a worldwide network of destinations, offered thanks to its former co-pilots of different nationalities whom it said has contributed to its long development.

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Foreign pilots

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The airline said it is going ahead with a plan to fully “Saudise” its pilots, according to news portal Ajel. No figures were given on the numbers of the replaced co-pilots or foreign pilots being employed by the carrier.

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Foreigners make up about 10.5 million of Saudi Arabia’s total population of 34.8 million.

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Gulf countries have recently stepped up their efforts to employ their own citizens in jobs done by expatriates in an attempt to ease economic impact of COVID-19 on their nationals.

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