New aircraft to ease pressure on Saudia

EXTENDED FLEET: Saudia has taken delivery of its first A330-300 Regional, making it the launch customer for this new member of the versatile and successful A330 family.
Updated 20 August 2016
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New aircraft to ease pressure on Saudia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines chief Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said the airline will retire its Jumbo and Embraer aircraft at the end of the year, stressing that there is no dispute between Saudia and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
In case of any disagreements, they are resolved through dialogue and negotiations in order to achieve the larger national goals, he said. According to a report in a local publication, the new fleet will lead to a 20 percent reduction in airfare.
During a meeting with the media, Al-Jasser said the airline will, in the first phase, rely on foreign pilots for its new planes.
“The airline will be ready for its initial public offering (IPO) after completing all necessary requirements and the restructuring of subsidiaries and sister companies,” he added.
In the case of customers with special needs, he said there are technical obstacles to performing electronic booking procedures, but as part of the airline’s national initiatives, it has prepared an office in Jazan to serve soldiers who took part in Operation Restoring Hope.
Saudia has taken delivery of its first A330-300 Regional, making it the launch customer for this new member of the versatile and successful A330 family.
The aircraft is the first of the 20 A330-300 Regional aircraft ordered at the 2015 Paris Airshow, and joins Saudi Arabian Airlines’ existing Airbus fleet of 12 A330-300s and 50 A320 Family aircraft.
Specially optimized for regional and domestic operations, the A330-300 Regional will boost capacity on several of Saudi Arabian Airlines’ most in-demand routes, enabling the airline to generate additional efficiencies while offering its passengers an unprecedented comfort level.
The first plane landed at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah in the evening. On board were Al-Jasser, as well as several executives and local media representatives.
The new aircraft has contributed to the transformation of the fleet and the airline’s growth strategy, which is in line with the goals of the National Transformation Program and Vision 2030.


Trump slams rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi disappearance

Updated 11 min 41 sec ago
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Trump slams rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi disappearance

  • ‘I think we have to find out what happened first’
  • ‘Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that’

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis’ request for patience.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

“I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

The Oval Office interview came not long after Trump spoke Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He spoke by phone a day earlier with King Salman.

After speaking with the king, Trump floated the idea that “rogue killers” may have been responsible for the disappearance. The president told the AP on Tuesday that that description was informed by his “feeling” from his conversation with Salman and that the king did not use the term.

“It sounded to me, maybe these could have been rogue killers,” Trump said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now in Turkey and has met with President Recep Tayipp Erdogan after the senior US diplomat’s talks with King Salman and the crown prince in Riyadh on the case of Khashoggi.

Pompeo had a brief meeting with the king before a lengthy, 40-minute discussion with the crown prince.

“We are strong and old allies. We face our challenges together,” the crown prince said as he warmly welcomed Pompeo to the Saudi capital.

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also had talks with Pompeo. “The secretary and the foreign minister agreed on the importance of a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said later.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.