JEDDAH: Saudia Cargo on Monday officially launched expansion projects for its facilities at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International airport in Riyadh. The projects, under the patronage of Minister of Transport Dr. Nabil Al-Amoudi, are an important part of the Saudi shipping company’s transformation initiative, Strategy 2020, which aims to double cargo capacity and enhance the business’s capability to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The launch ceremony, in Jeddah, was attended by President of the General Authority for Civil Aviation Captain Abdul Hakim Al-Tamimi, and Governor of the General Customs Authority Ahmed Al-Haqbani, along with other officials, clients and guests.
Fawaz Al-Fawaz, the chairman of Saudia Cargo, said the projects aim to achieve a qualitative leap in the level of logistics services provided by the business. He added that the company has developed a clear strategy to face any challenges by developing its infrastructure and work environment, and strengthening cooperation with partners and agents to increase the company's share of global shipping traffic.
He said that as a result of these efforts, in 2017 revenues increased by 10.9 percent and cargo transported by 12.6 percent in comparison with the previous year. Moreover, the tonnage growth hit a record high of 72 percent, while the number of stations increased to 63 internationally and 25 internally, in addition to the many stations served by road freight.
Omar Bin Talal Hariri, the CEO of Saudia Cargo, said that the company aims to increase capacity at King Khalid International Airport to 530,000 tons a year, and the size of its facility there to 75,000 square meters.
The capacity at King Abdul Aziz I|international Airport will increase to 820,000 tons in a 131,000-square-meter facility. The expansions will be supported by a number of development programs and advanced logistics solutions.
As part of its attempts to expand shipping services through alliances, Hariri added that Saudia Cargo will this year join SkyTeam, the global airlines alliance.
This will unlock broad new areas for the company to develop its business and services and expand its network of stations around the world, he added. It will also increase transit traffic, connecting the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.
The company will also work on restructuring its network of flights to suit the nature of the markets it serves and the needs of valued customers, and enhancing cooperation with parent company Saudi Arabian Airlines to take advantage of the capacity available on domestic and international flights.
Saleh Al-Jasser, the director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, said that “this step coincides with the peak of operations to transport pilgrims who are currently returning home to more than one hundred domestic and international stations. Saturday, August 25 recorded the highest number of flights in one day since the establishment of Saudi Arabian Airlines, when it reached 711 flights.”