Saudi Arabian Airlines signed (10-Jan-2011) an agreement to join SkyTeam in 2012. The airline will be SkyTeam's first member from the Middle East, adding 35 new destinations to the alliance network. Details include:
- Network: Saudi Arabian Airlines complements the SkyTeam network by offering access to destinations across the Middle East not currently served by SkyTeam members. Saudi Arabian has a broad Middle Eastern and international network that will add 35 new destinations to the SkyTeam alliance network including Alexandria, Islamabad and Colombo. Through Saudi Arabia's major hubs of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, travellers can connect to new destinations on the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Northern Africa. Examples are Alexandria, Aden, Colombo and Islamabad;
- Turnaround programne to improve the product offering: Saudi Arabian Airlines is focused on its four-year turnaround programme to be completed by 2013. Key elements of this plan include modernisation of its infrastructure, restructuring of its domestic and international network and implementing its fleet modernisation plan through the purchase of the most advanced aircraft;
- Middle East region: SkyTeam is actively working to grow its presence in the region, with Saudi Arabian Airlines becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to announce its intention to join SkyTeam. Within the Middle Eastern region Star Alliance has EgyptAir as a partner while Royal Jordanian Airlines is a member of the oneworld. Middle East Airlines has also been planning to join SkyTeam.[more - SkyTeam] [more - Delta]
Delta Air Lines: "Saudi Arabian's growing hub in Riyadh and extensive network throughout the Middle East will bring Delta customers greater access to destinations across one of the world's most important economic regions. We are honored that Saudi Arabian has chosen to link its future growth and success with Delta and our SkyTeam partners, while bringing our alliance greater access to destinations across the Middle East," Charlie Pappas, VP Alliances. Source: Company Statement, 10-Jan-2011.
SkyTeam: "Saudi Arabian Airlines is a significant player in the Middle East and covers a considerable part of the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent. Its membership in SkyTeam will enable us to compete more efficiently within the region," Leo van Wijk, Chairman. Source: Company Statement, 10-Jan-2011.
SkyTeam: "Announcing our first new member in 2011 clearly illustrates the continuing global expansion that we accelerated last year. In 2010, China Eastern and its daughter company Shanghai Airlines, China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Aerolineas Argentinas all confirmed their future membership in SkyTeam. Adding Saudi Arabian Airlines will definitely complement our network offer to our customers," Marie-Joseph Male, Managing Director. Source: Company Statement, 10-Jan-2011.