Riyadh Air, Prince Sultan University, sign deal for pilot training

Pilot recruitment also underway
Riyadh Air, Prince Sultan University, sign deal for pilot training
Pilot training vital for future success

Riyadh Air has finalized a strategic partnership with Prince Sultan University to build its first flight simulation center.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed recently, as Riyadh Air lays the groundwork for capacity building in time for its launch in 2025.

“Our collaboration with Prince Sultan University marks another step in Riyadh Air’s efforts to offer unique learning platforms for local youth as they look to choose and develop their careers,” said Peter Bellew, chief operating officer of Riyadh Air, in a statement.

Moreover, Bellew said that the pilot training program is vital for the future success of both Riyadh Air and Saudi.

Comprehensive training

The pilot training facility will be an immersive training environment that will train aspiring pilots in flight skills. However, the MoU also calls for a comprehensive program to provide comprehensive education and training for future pilots.

The collaboration calls for developing learning opportunities for students who aspire to pursue a career in commercial aviation. This includes short-term vocational training programs for pilots as well as cabin and ground crew. It will also provide skills-specific programs across the airline ecosystem, including finance, legal, IT, HR, and project management.

The program seeks to create more jobs within Saudi by training young people for employment opportunities in the aviation sector. Consequently, it aims to contribute to the growth and competitiveness of Saudi’s aviation sector.

“The collaboration between our university and Riyadh Air comes from a mutual interest and care for the development and enrichment of the students who are interested in careers in the aviation sector,” said Prince Sultan University president Ahmed Yamani.

Read: Riyadh Air inks deal with GE Aerospace to boost new fleet

Riyadh Air initiatives

Riyadh Air was launched recently as part of Saudi’s plans to boost its aviation industry. It is wholly owned by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund.

Last month, the airline finalized a deal for 90 GEnx-1B engines to propel its upcoming fleet. This follows the Saudi airline’s wide-body order for 39 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft in April this year.

In total, Riyadh Air intends to purchase up to 121 Dreamliners to support Saudi’s ambitions to attract 100 million tourists by 2030.

In addition, Riyadh Air announced it is now hiring pilots for flights that will commence in two years.

“Across the airline with 39 aircraft coming, we’re going to hire 700 pilots across the next three years. We are looking for the people who have experience on the 787 but also people who’ve got existing wide-body experience,” continued Bellew.

The interview process will start in September 2023. Meanwhile, the airline will start the formal induction of people in January 2024.

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