P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
Tuesday 25 December 2012
Last Update 25 December 2012 3:43 am
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines and its sister companies have been told to implement their strategic plans to develop their programs, improve services, boost operational performance and provide more seats to meet customer requirements.
Prince Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, gave the call yesterday while chairing a meeting of Saudia’s board of directors in Riyadh.
“We want to reach higher levels of operation rates competing with other airline companies at regional and international levels,” the prince told the board members.
He said the move was essential to meet the growing passenger traffic at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, King Khaled Airport in Riyadh and Prince Muhammad Airport in Madinah.
Referring to the recent Cabinet decisions aimed at strengthening GACA, Prince Fahd said it would help the authority and Saudia to complete their strategic plans to cope with speedy developments in the industry.
Director General Khaled Al-Molhem told the meeting that the national carrier transported more than 22.11 million passengers from January through November 2012 on 157,702 domestic and international flights.
“By the end of this year, the total number of passengers carried will reach 23.7 million, 2.2 million more than 2011,” he pointed out. The airline’s on time performance reached 89.35 percent.
Al-Molhem highlighted Saudia’s record performance during the last summer season (from June to September) when it carried 7.84 million passengers, with an increase of 770,000 compared to the 2011 figure.
Referring to Saudia’s Haj and Umrah operations, he said the airline carried more than 1.32 million Umrah pilgrims and 724,414 Haj pilgrims in 2012. “We have offered more than 14.32 million seats (88 percent of them occupied) on domestic flights this year, 324,000 more than in 2011,” he pointed out.
Saudia offered 12.32 million seats on international flights with an occupation rate of 69 percent. He said 59 out of 90 new aircraft bought by the airline have joined its domestic and international fleet network.