Saudia passenger traffic rises 10.49% to 27.88 million

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Updated 12 January 2015
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Saudia passenger traffic rises 10.49% to 27.88 million

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) transported a record 27.88 million passengers in 2014, registering a 10.49 percent increase or 2.46 million passengers compared to the previous year, said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, its director general.
He said the airline carried 15.7 million passengers on the domestic sector, 6.71 percent or 987,636 passengers more than the previous year.
During 2014, the airline operated 190,123 flights, showing an increase of 12,668 flights or seven percent compared to 2013 with the total number of domestic flights reaching 120,248, the Saudia chief said.
“Our on-time performance rate during the year reached 90.79 percent,” Al-Jasser said. “We have also adopted a series of measures to improve customer services,” he said. The on-time performance of domestic flights rose to 91.86 and international flights 83.83 percent, he said.
Al-Jasser emphasized Saudia’s determination to confront the challenges facing the airline and further enhance services being extended to passengers in different locations including on board its flights.
“We’ll continue our efforts to modernize our fleet of aircraft, provide advanced training to employees, including inflight and ground services staff. We’ll also improve the working atmosphere at new airports,” he said.
Speaking about international operations, Al-Jasser said Saudia transported 12.18 million passengers on the sector during 2014, showing an increase of 57,272 passengers or 14 percent compared to 2013.
Al-Jasser, who took over as Saudia’s new director general in June 2014, expressed his satisfaction over the airline’s good performance in the year, including expansion in domestic and international operations, upgrading of IT infrastructure and intensive training of manpower.
He thanked Prince Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation and chairman of Saudia’s board of directors, for his support to the airline’s operation plan, which has been developed year after year.
He attributed the 2014 achievements to the teamwork of Saudia employees and their desire to achieve high standards of performance. He urged Saudia staff to exert greater efforts to enhance customer services.


Kuwait Projects Co. hires Goldman Sachs for sale of OSN — sources

Updated 21 November 2018
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Kuwait Projects Co. hires Goldman Sachs for sale of OSN — sources

DUBAI: Kuwait Projects Co. (KIPCO), the Gulf state’s largest investment company, has hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on the sale of its majority stake in pay-television operator OSN, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
OSN, which this year signed the first partnership deal in the region with Netflix, posted a 71 percent drop in income in the three months to Sept. 30, according to KIPCO’s latest financial results.
KIPCO and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
KIPCO said in the results, released last week, that the company’s board had approved initiating a plan to divest its 60.5 percent equity interest in Panther Media Group, also known as OSN, and had engaged an international investment banker for the purpose. It did not disclose the name of the banker.
With the rights to broadcast into countries across the Middle East and North Africa, OSN has more than 180 channels, according to its website. Its other shareholder is Mawarid Group.
OSN faces subdued demand in its core markets due to piracy, geopolitical factors and fiscal reforms by governments which have led to sizeable expatriate populations leaving some of its core markets, said Anuj Rohtagi, director of group financial control at KIPCO in KIPCO’s third-quarter earnings conference call on Nov. 15. He added OSN was taking action to cut costs and attract new customers.
It is not the first time KIPCO has explored offloading at least some of its stake in OSN. In 2014, it said it planned to start the process for an initial public offering of OSN shares.