JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Wednesday 13 February 2013
Last update 13 February 2013 6:24 am
Saudi Arabian Airlines held its annual conference here recently to plan for future with the participation of its senior executives and office managers around the world.
Opening the conference titled “Meet the Future,” Khaled Al-Molhem, director general of the national carrier, welcomed the Kingdom’s open skies policy saying it would help Saudia project its distinguished services.
The three-day conference adopted a number of recommendations and strategies to strengthen the airline and improve its services. A working team has been set up to follow implementation of the conference’s resolutions.
Al-Molhem said Saudia carried more than 24 million passengers in 2012, three million more than it carried in 2011. “This is a record in Saudia’s 70-year history,” he added.
The airline offered six million seats during the past five years including 3.6 million seats on the domestic sector or 67 percent of the total.
“We have restructured flights to major cities in the Kingdom, providing more seats to meet growing demand,” the Saudia chief said.
The airline plans to operate new flights to the Canadian city of Toronto this year and to the US city of Los Angeles and other international destinations next year.
Dr. Faisal Al-Sugair, vice president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, spoke about his organization’s efforts to expand and modernize the Kingdom’s airports.
“King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah will become one of the major hubs in the world after its expansion,” Al-Sugair said.
In the first phase of the expansion, the airport will serve 30 million passengers annually. Once all phases of the expansion are completed it can accommodate 80 million passengers.
He said GACA decided to license new operators in the domestic sector to promote fair competition and meet growing demand of passengers traveling between Saudi cities, adding it would benefit passengers.