Saudia aims to have 200 aircraft by 2020

Updated 18 May 2015

Saudia aims to have 200 aircraft by 2020

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines will have a total of 200 aircraft by the next five years, said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director general of the national flag carrier.
In a statement issued on Monday, he also disclosed plans to increase Saudia’s domestic flights and expand operations to new international destinations.
Al-Jasser’s statement follows a three-day executive meeting at King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, titled “Together shaping our future.”
He said that Saudia, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, plans to double its achievements during the next seven years.
Spelling out future objectives, the director general said: “We’ll increase the number of aircraft from 119 to 200 by 2020 and increase the number of passengers by improving services.” Saudia transported more than 28 million last year.
Al-Jasser emphasized the airline’s capability to make required changes with the support of its highly qualified executives and other employees.
“We would like to make use the untapped capabilities of our workers,” he said while launching its five-year SV2020 strategic plan.
During the workshop in Rabigh, Saudia executives discussed 20 major initiatives to transform them into working programs and implement 10 initiatives this year. Working teams presented their plans to implement the programs.
During the executive meeting, the airline’s strategic plan for the next five years (2015-2020) was endorsed. Prepared by an international consultancy firm, the plan aims at making Saudia one of the best airlines in the world that give maximum care to passengers and work for customer satisfaction.
The plan focuses on ensuring the security and safety of passengers and aircraft, providing advanced training to staff, rationalization of expenditures, diversification of revenue and optimum use of human and material resources.
Al-Jasser highlighted the airline’s achievements over the past years.
“This is not enough. The world around us is changing abruptly. Even government performance, which is usually slow, has changed and improved,” he said while stressing the importance of embracing change for a brighter future.
He urged employees to build on the airline’s achievements.
“We have a strong foundation to build on it in order to reach new heights of progress and prosperity,” the director general said.
Al-Jasser said he was not demanding something impossible.
“What we need is to manage our objectives, make use of opportunities and work as one team. Change is not easy and we may face some obstacles. But change is essential to achieve our corporate objectives,” he said.

A Jordan startup delivers eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

Updated 05 December 2019

A Jordan startup delivers eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

  • Products used by WashyWash are non-carcinogenic and environmentally neutral
  • Amman-based laundry service aims to relocate to a larger facility in mid-2020

AMMAN: A persistent sinus problem prompted a Jordanian entrepreneur to launch an eco-friendly dry-cleaning service that could help end the widespread use of a dangerous chemical.

“Dry cleaning” is somewhat of a misnomer because it is not really dry. It is true that no water is involved in the process, but the main cleaning agent is perchloroethylene (PERC), a chemical that experts consider likely to cause cancer, as well as brain and nervous system damage.

Kamel Almani, 33, knew little of these dangers when he began suffering from sinus irritation while working as regional sales director at Eon Aligner, a medical equipment startup he co-founded.

The problem would disappear when he went on vacation, so he assumed it was stress related.

However, when Mazen Darwish, a chemical engineer, revealed he wanted to start an eco-laundry and warned about toxic chemicals used in conventional dry cleaning, Almani had an epiphany.

“He began to tell me how PERC affects the respiratory system, and I suddenly realized that it was the suits I wore for work — and which I would get dry cleaned — that were the cause of my sinus problems,” said Almani, co-founder of Amman-based WashyWash.

“That was the eureka moment. We immediately wanted to launch the business.”

WashyWash began operations in early 2018 with five staff, including the three co-founders: Almani, Darwish and Kayed Qunibi. The business now has 19 employees and became cash flow-positive in July this year.

“We’re very happy to achieve that in under two years,” Almani said.

The service uses EcoClean products that are certified as toxin-free, are biodegradable and cause no air, water or soil pollution.

Customers place orders through an app built in-house by the company’s technology team.

WashyWash collects customers’ dirty clothes, and cleans, irons and returns them. Services range from the standard wash-and-fold to specialized dry cleaning for garments and cleaning of carpets, curtains, duvets and leather goods.

“For wet cleaning, we use environmentally friendly detergents that are biodegradable, so the wastewater doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals,” Almani said.

For dry cleaning, WashyWash uses a modified hydrocarbon manufactured by Germany’s Seitz, whose product is non-carcinogenic and environmentally neutral.

A specialized company collects the waste and disposes of it safely.

The company has big ambitions, planning to expand its domestic operations and go international. Its Amman site can process about 1,000 items daily, but WashyWash will relocate to larger premises in mid-2020, which should treble its capacity.

“We’ve built a front-end app, a back-end system and a driver app along with a full facility management system. We plan to franchise that and have received interest from many countries,” Almani said.

“People visiting Amman used our service, loved it, and wanted an opportunity to launch in their countries.”

WashyWash has received financial backing from angel investors and is targeting major European cities initially.

“An eco-friendly, on-demand dry-cleaning app isn’t available worldwide, so good markets might be London, Paris or Frankfurt,” Almani said.


• The Middle East Exchange is one of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives that was launched to reflect the vision of the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai in the field of humanitarian
and global development, to explore the possibility of changing the status of the Arab region. The initiative offers the press a series of articles on issues affecting Arab societies.