Saudia to complete record number of flights transporting pilgrims

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Saudia launched its operational plan to transport guests from the holy sites to more than 100 international and domestic destinations. (SPA)
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Saudia launched its operational plan to transport guests from the holy sites to more than 100 international and domestic destinations. (SPA)
Updated 25 August 2018
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Saudia to complete record number of flights transporting pilgrims

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) launched an operational plan on Friday to transport pilgrims from the holy sites to more than 100 international and domestic destinations via airports in Jeddah and Madinah.

Director-General of the Saudia, Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser said the plan coincides with the end of Eid Al-Adha and the summer holidays, which usually witness intense air traffic on domestic and international routes.

The Director-General of the carrier chaired a meeting on Friday at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah, attended by a number of company executives. He toured the airport, including service facilities and all the arrangements prepared for the guests.

Saudia carried its first pilgrims to their destinations on Friday morning, with a flight from KAIA to Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. The first plane carried 410 pilgrims. Thereafter domestic and international flights continued to depart from Medinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport. The last flight for the Hajj season is expected to leave in the middle of the month of Muharram.

On Saturday, Saudia will complete a record number of flights in a single day, which has not been achieved since its inception, with 711 flights, including scheduled and additional flights and transporting pilgrims to various domestic and international destinations.

Saudia has achieved a remarkable new rate of transportation this year, an increase of 22 percent compared to last year.

Serving pilgrims is one of the national carrier’s top priorities and the airline is keen to accommodate, as is the case with other Saudi service institutions.


Angry Birds maker Rovio needs new games to revitalize sales

Updated 37 min 1 sec ago
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Angry Birds maker Rovio needs new games to revitalize sales

  • Rovio said tough competition and high marketing costs would put pressure on its full-year outlook
  • Rovio grew rapidly after the 2009 launch of the original ‘Angry Birds’ game

HELSINKI: Rovio Entertainment, the maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game, on Friday said the company needed to come up with new games to drive growth and warned that sales would fall this year after reporting higher third-quarter profits.
The Finnish company, which listed its shares on the stock market in Helsinki last year, reported third-quarter adjusted operating profit of €10.4 million ($11.8 million), up from €4 million a year ago.
But Rovio said tough competition and high marketing costs would put pressure on its full-year outlook. The group said it expected 2018 sales to be between €280 million and €290 million, compared with a previous range of €260 million and €300 million. Last year, the company had revenues of €297 million.
“It is clear that we need new games in order to accelerate growth,” Rovio’s Chief Executive Kati Levoranta said in a statement, adding that the company planned to launch at least two new games next year and had another ten projects in the pipeline.
Rovio grew rapidly after the 2009 launch of the original “Angry Birds” game, in which players used slingshots to attack pigs who stole birds’ eggs. The company expanded into film with an Angry Birds movie in 2016, but more recently has been hit by its high dependency on the Angry Birds brand and tough competition.
After its initial public offering in September 2017, Rovio’s shares dropped 50 percent in February after the company said its sales could fall this year after 55 percent growth in 2017.
Rovio expects a movie sequel to boost business next year and the company has also stepped up investments in its spin-off company Hatch, which is building a Netflix-style streaming service for mobile games.
Full-year core operating profit margin is seen at 10-11 percent, up from a previous view of 9-11 percent.