P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS
Monday 28 January 2013
Last Update 27 January 2013 9:38 pm
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines has transported more than 24 million passengers in 2012, said Khaled Al-Molhem, its director general. “We have carried a record number of 24,328,157 passengers last year, with an increase of over 2.85 million or 13.28 percent compared to 2011,” he said while explaining Saudia’s achievements.
Al-Molhem said Saudia transported 14,183,500 passengers on domestic flights covering 23 airports, with an increase of over two million or 17 percent against 2011. “On our international flights we carried 10,144,657 passengers with an increase of 8.43 percent or 788,499 compared to the previous year,” he pointed out.
“The increase in Saudia passengers by 2.85 million in a single year reflects the growing number of people who travel by air, especially between Saudi cities,” the DG said.
He attributed the increase in passengers to Saudia’s strategy to make more seats available to people traveling between the Kingdom’s different regions and to major international destinations.
“We have received 58 new Airbus (A320, A321, and A330) and Boeing (777-300ER) aircraft during the past two years and this has helped us operate more flights with required number of seats and meet market requirements, especially during the peak Haj & Umrah and summer seasons,” he pointed out.
Al-Molhem said Saudia was able to achieve the highest operation rate in 2012 in its 70 year history. It operated 171,341 domestic and international flights in 2012 compared to 158,449 flights in 2011, with an increase of 12,892 flights or eight percent.
In the domestic sector, Saudia operated 112,319 flights against 100,963 flights in 2011 with an increase of 11,356 flights or 11 percent. On time performance reached 90.12 percent in the domestic sector.
“We operated 46,889 flights on the international sector against 43,759 flights in 2011 with an increase of 3,310 flights or seven percent, showing a 88.21 percent on-time performance,” the DG said.
During the peak summer, Umrah and vacation seasons, Saudia transported 6.84 million passengers against 6.23 million in 2011, with an increase of about 600,000 passengers or 8.27 percent. “We have been transporting an average of 65,000 passengers daily,” he added.