RIYADH – A British airline company, which recently received a license to operate independently in Saudi Arabia, is keen to create job opportunities for Saudi nationals as pilots.
Joerg Hennemann, Chief Commercial Officer, British Midland International (bmi), told Saudi Gazette Wednesday in an exclusive interview that Saudi Arabia is a prospering country and its economy has been booming, which in turn will help the aviation sector grow and create a number of job opportunities for Saudis in various job categories.
BMI has pilots of different nationalities, but so far no Saudi pilot is working with the airline, he said. “I have no problem with Saudis working with the airline,” said Hennemann.
“However, I do not know about British work regulations. Because not everyone gets a work permit in the UK, except citizens of the European Union,” he said.
If Saudis meet the job criteria and qualifications, there is no reason why Saudis should not be recruited to fly bmi aircraft, he said.
Technically there is nothing to stop Saudi pilots from workinig with bmi, said Robert Lickley, Country Manager for Saudi Arabia.
“After receiving a Saudi license, one of the things we have done was to open a call center exclusively operated by Saudi women,” he said.
“As you are aware King Abdullah is keen to provide employment opportunities for Saudi women, and we have worked very closely with the Saudi authorities to create job opportunities for Saudi nationals, particularly women,” he said.
As an independent entity, bmi has recruited three Saudi women for its call center in Saudi Arabia. This is in the initial period, and as the business grows more job opportunities for Saudis will be created, he said.
The airline has worked closely with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI) to get a license to operate in Saudi Arabia.
Under its policy of working closely with Saudi society, bmi has focused on local issues such as the country’s ambitious Saudization program aimed at creating employment opportunities for Saudi nationals.
British Midland Airways Limited (styled as bmi, British Midland International), is a UK-based airline which is a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa. It earlier operated in the Kingdom under the local sponsorship rule.