First Brunei Airlines All-Female Crew Lands Plane in Saudi Arabia

Royal Brunei Airline's first ever female trio at the flight deck; (from left) Captain Sharifah Czarena, Senior First Officer Dk Nadiah and Senior First Officer Sariana in the flight deck prior to operating flight BI081 from Brunei to Jeddah on 23 February. @RoyalBruneiAirlines/ Instagram

Captain Sharifah Czarena and senior first officers Sariana Nordin and Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem became Royal Brunei Airlines 'first ever all-female flight crew, piloting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on flight BI081 from Brunei to Jeddah on 23 February. The milestone for the airline marked Brunei's National Day, which celebrates the country's independence.

The female pilots landed into Saudi Arabia – a country where conservative Muslim clerics rule that women aren't allowed to drive. Talal Alharbi, a Saudi journalist says women can only drive to drop off their children at school or when a family member needs to go to hospital. "Women should accept simple things", he writes in Arab News. "This is a wise thing women could do at this stage. Being stubborn won't support their cause." A ' Saudi women to Drive' Facebook page has amassed over 35,000 likes.

All-woman crew just flew us EWR-LHR. This crew flew Royal Brunei to Saudi: they can fly a plane but not drive a car

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) March 13, 2016

In 2012, Sharifah Czarena made history as the first female captain in Southeast Asia: "Being a pilot, people normally see it as being a male dominant occupation. As a woman, a Bruneian woman, it is such a great achievement. It's really showing the younger generation or the girls especially that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it," she told The Brunei Times.

Royal Brunei Airlines says it is actively promoting careers for female pilots, the Metro reports.