Saudia Group played key role in success of Hajj season 2023

Saudia Group played key role in success of Hajj season 2023
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Updated 31 August 2023
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Saudia Group played key role in success of Hajj season 2023

Saudia Group played key role in success of Hajj season 2023

Saudia Group has announced that its performance reports, following the Hajj season 2023, show distinguished operating rates during the peak of the summer travel season from May 21 to Aug. 2. Saudia Group’s performance during this period peaked as the airline allocated more than 1.2 million seats for Hajj pilgrims, while operating 79,000 flights. 

Saudia’s fleet flew an average of half a million hours, while recording an on-time-performance rate of 83.8 percent. Meanwhile, 1,768 pilots and assistant pilots contributed to Saudia’s success by managing the flights efficiently. The guest cabin crew worked at full capacity during the season, with a total of 6,063 crew members, who speak more than 42 languages, working during the summer months. 

The Hajj season also saw the mobilization of the Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries, which operated at full capacity with its automated capabilities and qualified cadres to ensure the provision of the best services. SAEI dedicated a specialized team for the Hajj season, which included the allocation of 112 maintenance stations operated by 1,154 technicians. In addition, SAEI supplied Saudia with 3,896 different types of aircraft parts while the time spent on maintenance amounted to 50,700 hours. SAEI has obtained many international licenses and certificates from the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the US Federal Aviation Authority, and the European Organization for Aviation Safety, among others. Moreover, SAEI obtained licenses approved by manufacturers, which allow the company to manufacture aircraft spare parts in a limited capacity.

The Saudi Airlines Catering Company also played a major role during the Hajj season, providing meals that comply with the best international standards. SACC also provided comprehensive catering solutions to institutions and agencies working to serve Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. It aimed to satisfy all tastes by providing a diverse range of meals commensurate with the requirements of service during the Hajj and Umrah seasons and operating with record levels of speed. SACC delivered 5.4 million meals on planes, 83,400 meals on the Haramain High Speed Railway, and 357,000 meals as part of its catering services in the holy sites. 

By investing its expertise in providing ground-handling services at all domestic airports, the Saudi Ground Services Company provided handling services for more than 25,000 flights at the arrival and departure stages, which carried more than 2.18 million pilgrims, with a standard operational discipline rate of 99 percent. The company’s services opened up several seasonal jobs, which contributed to speeding up the procedures, as those who joined were trained on the job to cover the additional sites during the Hajj season. The languages spoken by the employees included Arabic, English, Japanese, Turkish, French, German, Urdu, Pakistani Bengali, Hindi, Filipino, Tamil, Malayalam, and Malay.

Saudia Private Aviation is renowned for providing its competitive services that target businessmen and senior officials, and is available in four domestic airports, including King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, and Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah. During the Hajj season, SPA operated 192 flights, which carried more than 4,300 pilgrims, with ground-handling provided for the flights. Guests also enjoyed many services including private travel lounges, a modern fleet with a fully equipped luxurious cabin and crew, and post-flight services including reception and support, as well as guest relations and guide services.

Saudia’s offices in both Makkah and Madinah provided many support services to the pilgrims, including confirming and changing reservations and issuing tickets. They also assisted all government agencies involved in providing services to pilgrims, such as pre-booking seats and issuing vouchers, booking excess baggage, and providing services to sick guests and people with special needs. All Saudia facilities were operated by highly qualified and professional staff, who were available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Amer Alkhushail, chief Hajj and Umrah officer at Saudia Group, said: “The end of the Hajj season marks the beginning of our preparation for the next one, as all stages will be reviewed and evaluated in order to further improve the level of services and enhance our performance in time for the upcoming Hajj season. Expansion and growth are our main priorities, which fall in line with Vision 2030’s objectives to develop the services provided to the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.”


J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom

J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom
Updated 28 February 2024
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J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom

J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom

Johnson and Johnson Medical Saudi Arabia Limited, a provider of high-tech medical and surgical equipment, has announced the establishment of its direct operations in the Kingdom. This comes as a strategic move to bring customers closer to the Johnson and Johnson legacy, facilitating a more streamlined experience.

A significant milestone, this move reflects the company’s continued investment in the future of Saudi healthcare and its commitment toward enhancing medical interventions and improving clinical outcomes.

The new direct model will give J&J MedTech greater control over the customer experience, ultimately translating into better patient outcomes. Key benefits of the newly established direct model include consistent service quality, centralized product source adhering to Johnson and Johnson’s quality standards, faster response times to customer concerns, improved tracking and product visibility, and increased scope of collaborations, among others. This milestone reflects Johnson and Johnson’s relentless commitment to providing communities across the world with the best in healthcare. The go-to-market model transformation is a pivotal moment in the company’s history.

Marzena Kulis, managing director of J&J MedTech for Middle East and Africa, said: “We remain deeply vested in Saudi Arabia and in contributing to Vision 2030 to support in developing the healthcare sector, driving economic growth, nurturing local talent, and fostering innovation. As an entity, Johnson and Johnson has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly 40 years, putting the needs of patients, families, physicians, and nurses first, and functioning as advocates for the health of the Saudi community. As we transition into this new direct model, I truly believe that our esteemed partners will have fewer obstacles in providing the best care for their patients.”

Furthermore, aligned with J&J MedTech KSA’s mandate to support the government’s Saudi nationalization scheme or Nitaqat, the GTM model transformation has created multiple job opportunities for Saudi nationals. In addition to this, Johnson and Johnson supported 345 direct jobs in Saudi Arabia in 2022, primarily in the fields of marketing and sales, and for every direct job supported by Johnson and Johnson in the Kingdom, an additional 2.5 jobs are supported in the country.

Trad Al-Khelaiwi, general manager of J&J MedTech KSA, added: “As a company that is dedicated to fostering local talent, our direct operations are also aimed at creating more opportunities within the Kingdom and supporting the government’s Saudization efforts. In fact, since the start of the project, we’ve made 76 new hires — with our priority and majority being Saudi nationals. I have no doubt that this transformative shift will bring our customers closer to Johnson and Johnson’s exceptional quality standards and develop the local healthcare market with international know-how. We will continue to work toward the benefit of healthcare in Saudi Arabia and our communities at large.”

Commenting on the strategic move, Peter Lane, transformation director at J&J MedTech, said: “By taking this bold step, we are not only embracing the health goals of Vision 2030 and aligning with the Health Sector Transformation Program, but also spotlighting the immense potential of local talent in driving innovation and progress. This strategic move exemplifies our commitment to enriching the healthcare sector in the Kingdom, fostering a global collaborative approach that synergizes with the nation’s aspirations for a healthier and prosperous future.”


solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN

solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN
Updated 28 February 2024
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solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN

solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN

solutions by stc, the leading enabler of digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and the region, has announced an open radio access network agreement with Mavenir, a cloud-native network infrastructure provider, to launch the first commercial open RAN network in Saudi Arabia. The announcement is a boost to stc Group’s strategic mission to deliver emerging technology to the Kingdom’s mobile customers, supporting the Vision 2030 digital transformation strategy.

The service is expected to go live commercially later this year. This decision follows the successful initial deployment of the multi-layer 4G and 5G NSA Access Network on the open RAN platform to stc, delivered in partnership with solutions by stc and Mavenir.

The newly launched multi-layered 4G and 5G radio network will utilize Mavenir’s 4G remote radio unit and 5G massive MIMO active antenna unit technology and leverage the cloud-native Mavenir Webscale Platform with fully containerized centralized unit and distributed unit software. The solution will run on an x86 commercial-off-the-shelf hardware platform that represents best-in-class technology for open interface radio systems. Mavenir will provide stc with a cloud-native deployment solution that harnesses a full combination of expert professional services, plus cutting-edge hardware and software, seamlessly integrated into stc’s radio network.

Yousef Almarshad, chief commercial officer of solutions by stc, said: “Mavenir’s open RAN technology innovation, together with solutions by stc, provides a strong foundation for this trail-blazing open RAN deployment, bringing next-generation performance and breakthrough services to stc’s valued customers across the Kingdom — going beyond data speeds to a more sustainable, secure and cost-effective network powered by Mavenir’s open RAN.”

B.G. Kumar, president, access networks, platforms and digital enablement at Mavenir, added: “Mavenir is extremely pleased to be awarded with the opportunity to build the first commercial open RAN deployment in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with solutions by stc. Mavenir is confident that stc’s open RAN network in Saudi Arabia will act as a catalyst for further accelerating operators’ digital transformation journeys across the Middle East region, ushering in a wave of customer-focused innovation that can fully leverage the unique potential generated by open standards and architecture.”


SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA

SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA
Updated 27 February 2024
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SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA

SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA

In its quest to provide more sporting facilities in the Kingdom, the Saudi Sports for All Federation signed an agreement with leading property developer ROSHN to establish and activate a new sports dome in SEDRA, ROSHN’s flagship project located in Riyadh. The agreement was signed at ROSHN’s offices by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, SFA president, and David Grover, ROSHN Group CEO.

The SFA is working to increase the numbers of those physically active in the Kingdom and has already introduced several sports domes across the country. This helps to remove the barriers for individuals in beginning their physical journey, providing a multi-sport facility, open all year round, with football pitches, basketball courts, tennis, volleyball, badminton, and more, plus a variety of sports programs. ROSHN is also a believer of enriching communities with high-quality lifestyle assets.

Other attendees from ROSHN at the signing ceremony included Executive Director Abdulrahman Maghrabi, Senior Director Fahd Alaswad, Associate Director Abdullah Al-Ruwayshid, Senior Manager Abdulrahman Alharran, Senior Manager Ghadah Alwesaimer, and Manager Ahmed Alshaqhaa.

From the SFA, the full list of attendees included Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, SFA managing director; Ammar Alamro, director of marketing and communication; Abdoon bin Abdoon, senior marketing and communication manager; Abdulaziz Nasser Al-Badah, senior purchasing and contracts manager; and Naif Abdullah Al-Arrouj, community sports management.

Prince Khaled said: “The establishment and activation of the new sports domes, thanks to the land provided by ROSHN, exemplifies our commitment to providing accessible facilities to the Saudi community. The SFA sports dome facilities are testament to our dedication to removing barriers and increasing physical activity among residents.”

Grover expressed his excitement, saying: “We are thrilled to partner with the Sports for All Federation in bringing world-class sports domes to our developments. This partnership aligns with our commitment to driving community sports in the Kingdom and enhancing the quality of life for all, contributing to the Vision 2030 goals of a healthier and more active Saudi Arabia. This agreement is a testament to ROSHN’s dedication to enriching the lives of Saudi residents and communities through sports, partnerships, and our fully integrated new way of living.”

Mandated by Vision 2030’s Quality of Life program to increase the percentage of the population regularly engaged in physical activity to 40 percent by 2030, the SFA continues to develop partnerships that align with its mission. Since its establishment in 2018, the federation has pioneered various sporting initiatives, promoting the positive impact of sports on physical and mental well-being.

ROSHN, powered by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is known for its commitment to achieving the Vision 2030 goal of 70 percent home ownership in the Kingdom. It equips communities with unique designs and a wide range of facilities.


Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence

Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence
Updated 27 February 2024
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Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence

Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence

Consulum, a global strategic government advisory firm that has been working in the Kingdom for more than a decade, has moved into their new state-of-the-art office and established their regional headquarters in Riyadh.

Riyadh, a thriving business hub and center of the region’s most ambitious growth plans, offers unparalleled opportunities for firms to contribute to the vibrant business landscape of the Kingdom. The decision to establish the regional headquarters in Riyadh underlines Consulum’s dedication to its clients and teams in Saudi Arabia and the region.

“Establishing our regional headquarters in Riyadh demonstrates our unwavering commitment to Saudi Arabia,” said Stuart Walker, chief operating officer of Consulum. “We’d like to thank the Saudi Ministry of Investment, whose invaluable support and expert advice were key to making our RHQ license a reality.”

The expansion to a new office marks a significant milestone in Consulum’s growth, further solidifying its presence in an important region and being more accessible to clients, partners and local talent. The office features the latest in communications technology, providing high levels of functionality for delivering workshops, seminars, training, and advanced coaching sessions.

“Located in the heart of King Abdullah Financial District, we’re even closer to our clients and immersed in their aspirations toward Vision 2030 and beyond,” said Nader Naamani, partner and head of Consulum Saudi Arabia. “The new office is a platform for us to continue collaborating, innovating, and celebrating success together.”

Consulum is a global strategic advisory firm working with government organizations and their leaders. With decades of working at the highest levels of government, Consulum’s specialists have the experience and expertise to help governments make a powerful and positive impact.


Avaya to showcase how AI can improve experiences

Avaya to showcase how AI can improve experiences
Updated 27 February 2024
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Avaya to showcase how AI can improve experiences

Avaya to showcase how AI can improve experiences

Avaya, a global leader in customer experience solutions, announced its participation in the 2024 edition of LEAP, where the company will illustrate how organizations supporting the transformation of Saudi Arabia’s economy can use AI to deliver the experiences that a new economic environment demands.

Aiming to support the multiple industries transforming as the Kingdom pivots toward a non-oil-based economy, Avaya will use its major presence at LEAP to showcase a range of use cases that address large organizations’ most pressing challenges.

“As Saudi organizations transform, they are looking to artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency, improve experience personalization, and deliver granular customer insights — all without compromising security or privacy. But they also need to be able to innovate at their own pace, enhancing existing capabilities while preserving the trusted and reliable experiences they have built over time.

At LEAP we’ll demonstrate how they can achieve this careful balance to transform their operations, and the experiences they deliver, in line with Vision 2030,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, senior vice president — global head of sales, Avaya, and president, Avaya International.