JEDDAH: A Saudia airline travel lounge has landed a top global industry award.
The Saudi flag carrier’s Al-Fursan Lounge at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah has been named the world’s best for its health and safety standards by the Airline Passenger Experience Association.
The accolade was celebrated at a ceremony attended by airline officials and invited guests, including a number of social media influencers.
Essam Akhonbay, Saudia’s vice president for marketing and product management, said the company had worked with APEX and airline marketing strategy firm SimpliFlying for three months on implementing the required safety measures.
“We made sure that sanitization stations and robots were available in the lounge. We were also keen to have periodical cleaning to make the lounge as spotless as possible. We, in fact, were keen to stick to the highest international standards, even before the lounge was opened for guests,” he added.
He noted that the Jeddah facility was the first Saudia lounge to receive recognition from the association.
“Winning this award is just the beginning. This lounge is the first lounge in the world to win the APEX award for the safest lounge,” he said.
Akhonbay pointed out that the airport lounge was just one of many products and projects aimed at improving passenger experiences before, during, and after flights.
Speaking during the ceremony, he described the award as a new milestone for Saudia in providing travelers with an immersive experience and helping King Abdulaziz International Airport become a key global travel hub for the Kingdom.
The lounge is considered to be the largest of its kind in the SkyTeam airline alliance, covering more than 3,500 square meters and handling more than 10,000 guests a day (up to 450 at a time).
With Jeddah airport as its main center, Saudia currently operates flights to more than 90 destinations around the world.