Airshow champions Saudi Arabia’s pioneering aviation industry

Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar and Saudi Aviation Club President Prince Sultan bin Salman inaugurated the first Saudi International Airshow. (SPA)
Updated 14 March 2019

Airshow champions Saudi Arabia’s pioneering aviation industry

  • It is hoped the airshow will attract investment and build bridges between the Saudi aviation and aerospace industries

JEDDAH: Prince Faisal bin Bandar, the governor of Riyadh, and Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Aviation Club (SAC), opened the first Saudi International Airshow — the biggest aerospace industry event ever held in the Middle East — at Thumamah Airport on Tuesday.

Prince Faisal described the launch as a “real national occasion,” representing a “new start” for upcoming exhibitions in the field of aviation and aerospace.

Prince Sultan, meanwhile, praised the participation of the exhibitors, companies and people who attended, and thanked the SAC for organizing the launch, adding that the turnout reflected the pioneering position of the Kingdom in the world of aviation.

It is hoped the airshow will attract investment and build bridges between the Saudi aviation and aerospace industries, providing the perfect platform to connect networking professionals, companies and investors from across the region.

The governor of Riyadh and president of the SAC also oversaw the signing of several agreements between the SAC, Saudi Aramco, Alsalam Aerospace Industries Co., the Saudi Rotorcraft Support Co. and others, involving memorandums of understanding (MoU) on student scholarships and technical training provision.

One of the MoUs, signed between the Saudi Academy of Aviation and Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) agreed that Saudia would provide training programs to the academy’s students.

The exhibition will open to the general public on Thursday, where they will be able to enjoy special live air displays. 

More than 260 local and international companies will participate over the three days of the show, with up to 20,000 visitors also expected to attend. 

The airshow brings together the major players in the aviation industry, enabling a demanding clientele to discover the industry’s latest developments and innovations.

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 37 min 22 sec ago

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.