Saudia begins its massive operation to fly Hajis home

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Updated 19 October 2014

Saudia begins its massive operation to fly Hajis home

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has begun operating more than 1,600 Haj return flights to all destinations from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed International Airport in Madinah following the end of the annual pilgrimage.
“We will operate 1,531 international flights and 76 domestic flights to transport pilgrims to their destinations,” said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director-general of the national flag carrier, which plays a significant role in the country’s massive Haj operation.
He said Saudia extends integrated services to pilgrims in coordination with various government departments, including the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the Haj Ministry and the Passport Department.
“Saudia’s strategic plan to transport Haj pilgrims from 100 foreign and domestic destinations was a big success,” the director-general said, adding that the plan aims at transporting 818,000 pilgrims.
He said the newly purchased Boeing and Airbus aircraft, as well as 29 rented planes, enabled the airline to offer the best services to the guests of God. “We have achieved high rates for on-time performance in Haj flights and ensured 100 percent security for pilgrims,” he added.
Saudia transported baggage without delays. “We have deployed senior executives at major stations to supervise Haj flights and raised awareness about safety regulations to pilgrims. We have also set up a special operation room to monitor Haj flights.”
The appointment of employees who speak the same languages as pilgrims coming from Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Bangladesh was another measure that won the applause of customers.
“We sent Zamzam water bottles for Indonesian, Indian and Malaysian pilgrims to their countries in empty return flights during the first phase of the Haj operation.”
“We issue boarding passes for return flights in advance so that pilgrims need not visit our offices in Makkah and Madinah to make return bookings and are able to focus on worship and Haj rituals.”
The airline appointed cabin crew members who speak the language of pilgrims, supply meals to suit all tastes and screen Haj documentaries during flights.
“We provide city check-in services to Indonesian and Malaysian pilgrims at the Ain Al-Aziziya building in Jeddah and for Indian and Iranian pilgrims in Makkah,” Al-Jasser said.


Saudi air defense forces intercept Houthi ballistic missiles 

Updated 21 February 2020

Saudi air defense forces intercept Houthi ballistic missiles 

RIYADH: Saudi air defense forces shot down ballistic missiles launched by the Iran-backed Houthi "terrorists"  towards civilian areas in the Kingdom, the Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Friday.

The missiles were intercepted at 12:30 a.m. after they were launched toward cities in Saudi Arabia, Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). 

"The missiles were launched in a systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians, which is a flagrant defiance of the International Humanitarian Law," the statement said.

It did not mentioned which cities were targeted. 

Yemen's capital, Sanaa "has become a Houthi militia assembly, installation and launching hub for ballistic missiles that target the Kingdom. The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition has exercised extreme prudence and self-restraint in dealing with the violations of the Houthi militia through launching ballistic missiles, UAVs and Remote Controlled exploding boats.

"The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will continue to apply and implement all decisive and rigorous measures, in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law, to protect Coalition States’ nationals and expatriates from such barbaric attacks,” the statement said.