Saudia starts return journeys for pilgrims with 667 flights

Updated 28 September 2015

Saudia starts return journeys for pilgrims with 667 flights

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines has completed preparations to fly pilgrims back home to various destinations around the world which started on Sept. 27 following the end of the annual pilgrimage.
Assistant general manager for public relations and official spokesman for the carrier Abdul Rahman Al-Fahd said all operational sectors, including air and ground operations, maintenance and supply teams working in Makkah and the grouping office in Shumaisi are working at full capacity to serve pilgrims who performed the Haj.
“They facilitate departure procedures for them after God has blessed them with this holy grace. We expect the domestic and international flights during the holiday of Eid Al-Adha to be very busy until the end of the week, experiencing increasing traffic movement to and from all destinations,” he added.
He said the daily operational flights, domestic and international include 667 flights, of which 337 are domestic and 173 international. “This is in addition to 45 domestic Haj flights and 39 international Haj flights. About 220 flights will leave King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, including the domestic Haj flights and the Gulf Cooperation Council country Haj flights,” he added.
He said the following day, Sept. 28, about 609 flights will be operational from all stations — domestic, international and Haj.
The operations will continue to complete the transport of all pilgrims in accordance with the drafted plan, he added, confirming that the period from Sept. 27 to 30 will witness operations of more than 2,442 flights, of which 1,323 are domestic, 607 international, and 116 Haj flights either domestic or international.
Al-Fahd confirmed his airline doubled its efforts and supported the stations in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah with qualified cadres, and provided all necessary equipment for a successful operational plan.
He said Director General Saleh Al-Jasser made inspection tours of the departure and arrival lounges, and Haj lounges at King Abdulaziz International Airport.
“He met with the officials of the sectors and the operational companies, and those positioned in the operations room established from the sectors involved in Haj operations to unify efforts and provide the best services for pilgrims and the guests of the airliner,” said the spokesman, adding that Al-Jasser was assured of the readiness of all parties involved to best serve the pilgrims.
“He gave directions to increase the working hours from early morning until midnight over the week,” said the spokesman, adding that a joint meeting was held between the officials of the operational sectors of Saudia and all government bodies working at the airport to strengthen coordination and cooperation aimed to serve the pilgrims and facilitate their departure.
Saudi Arabian Airlines transported a total of 355,454 pilgrims on 1,466 international flights, of which 242,818 pilgrims reached the Kingdom through King Abdulaziz International Airport via 1,162 flights, while 112,636 pilgrims entered the country through Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah via 304 flights.

World oil supply disruption the most ‘pessimistic scenario’: Japanese defense minister

Updated 2 min 13 sec ago

World oil supply disruption the most ‘pessimistic scenario’: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: The Japanese defense minister has called the attack, claimed by Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia on Saturday an “act of terrorism,” saying something happening in the strait of Hormuz and disrupting the world oil supply is the “most pessimistic scenario.”

When asked by Arab News what Japan was prepared to do to protect itself from this worst nightmare given that 40% of the country’s oil supply comes from Saudi Arabia, Taro Kono said: “We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries.”

Kono, who was foreign minister until Tuesday, said his last act in that role was focused on talking to Iran and key players to defuse tensions.

The veteran politician said he had been talking to “Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension in the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.“

“And this Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. And I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks,” though Kono admitted action of this nature was outside what Japan’s constitution allows. 

“I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region,” he said.

Taro Kono made the comments to Arab News while at the G1 Global Conference in Tokyo on Monday.