Flyadeal’s launch puts Saudia at higher altitude

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Updated 19 April 2016

Flyadeal’s launch puts Saudia at higher altitude

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has announced its entry into the low-cost airline market with the launch of flyadeal, which will begin operation next year.
Addressing a press conference at the King Abdulaziz International Airport on Sunday, Saleh Al-Jasser, Saudia’s director general, said the airline would serve both domestic and international sectors.
Headquartered in Jeddah, flyadeal is likely to begin domestic service in mid-2017 using one class A320 aircraft and will subsequently serve both domestic and international flights, Al-Jasser said.
Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and chairman of Saudia airlines’ board of directors, along with a number of chief executives of the strategic units of Saudia, aviation experts and journalists were among those present at the launch ceremony.
The new carrier will be an addition to the list of strategic initiatives being implemented toward the National Transformation Program, Al-Jasser added.

“The new airline aims to deliver value for money to cost-conscious customers. It will be a single-class low fare carrier, which means we are focused on getting people from A to B for a fair price,” Al-Jasser was quoted as saying on social media.
Owned by Saudi Arabian Airlines Company, flyadeal will operate independent of Saudia by having its own management and strategic plans.
Al-Jasser emphasized that as a low-cost airline, flyadeal will be committed to providing high level of service while maintaining the highest safety standards.
He added that the trademark for the new company has been registered and its operating license is under process at GACA.
He said flyadeal will be under Saudi Arabian Airlines Holding Group with complete autonomy from Saudia as a separate strategic business unit.
Al-Jasser said: “We expect to serve the main trunk routes, including the capital city of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and key regional markets.”
Mark Breen, head of transformation at Saudia Holding Company, told Arab News that the Saudia Group’s SV2020 Transformation Strategy aims to transform the Saudia Group of business units into world-class organizations by 2020.
“The launch of flyadeal as the Kingdom’s newest national air carrier will serve both domestic and international destinations with the highest quality of safety and service in a special innovative way using best industry practices with latest technology. We have a network plan and we will announce further details when flyadeal gets closer to commencement of operations next year,” he said.
Breen said initially flyadeal will serve domestic routes but will in time expand to other regional routes. Definitely we will grow our capacity for our guests within the Kingdom, providing affordable high quality services at the lowest fare.
He added that flyadeal will also serve Haj and Umrah passengers throughout the region.
Breen said tourism is developing in the Kingdom, so we will also grow to support this need to serve the traveling public.
Earlier, Saudia announced the launch of Al Bayraq, a special VIP service, which coincides with Saudia’s 2020 strategic plan that aims to take the airline to greater heights, doubling its fleet and passenger numbers during the next five years. Al Bayraq is expected to start operations soon.
Al-Jasser quoted saying earlier that Saudia plans to expand its fleet from 119 to 200 aircraft by 2020 and improve services to attract increased passenger numbers under its 2015-2020 plan.
Saudi Arabia is already home to flynas, the nine-year-old low-cost carrier, which operates domestic and international routes.

Expo 2020 Dubai: UAE begins one-year countdown with entertainment galore

Updated 20 October 2019

Expo 2020 Dubai: UAE begins one-year countdown with entertainment galore

  • Dubai prepares for eye-catching countdown on Burj Khalifa
  • Live performances from singer Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 ambassador Hussain Al-Jassmi

DUBAI: The seven emirates of the UAE is counting down to the Expo 2020 on Sunday with a number of simultaneous entertainment events across the country’s iconic landmarks, before it buckles down to business on Oct. 20 next year.

The event started with performances from Arab artists Khalifa, Shamma Hamdan, Abri and Funk Radius, Showcase and Jaysus Zain at the main stage. 

The main show will be at the Burj Park with global superstar Mariah Carey, joined by Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi, who is also an official Expo 2020 ambassador. Bollywood actress Shraddah Kapoor will also be there, as the Burj Khalifa lights up for the count down.

The other six emirates are also marking the occasion with free-for-all activities in venues such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

The events, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Expo 2020 Director-General Reem Al-Hashimy said, will “offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020.”

“The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo,” she added, in a report by state-run WAM.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature YouTube sensation Sandra Sahi, as well as singers Stephon Lemar, Layla Kardan, the Emirati Trio.

Indian band ROOH, singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki and other regional artists are celebrating the count down at Sharjah’s Al Marjaz waterfront.

While the Ajman Museum will host Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.