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Saudia joins SkyTeam as 16th member and first Middle East regional member

30-May-2012 10:32 AM

SkyTeam formally welcomed (29-May-2012) Saudi Arabian Airlines as its 16th member. Upon joining SkyTeam, the carrier has reintroduced the Saudia name, previously used between 1972 and 1996. The flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, Saudia becomes SkyTeam’s first member airline from the Middle East and gives the alliance a strong foothold in the region. Saudia adds 51 new destinations to SkyTeam’s global network, including 23 within Saudi Arabia. Saudia director general Khalid Al-Molhem said joining SkyTeam is "an integral part of Saudia’s long-term transformation strategy, which includes rebranding our airline, restructuring core operations and enhancing onboard products and airport services.” Prior to joining SkyTeam, Saudia embarked on a four-year turnaround programme, which will be completed by 2013. Honour, an aviation brand experience consultancy, designed and managed the brand refresh programme. Other elements of Saudia’s transformation plan include modernising IT, commercial, operational and financial platforms and renewing the fleet by acquiring 90 new aircraft. Middle East Airlines is also due to join the alliance this year. [more - original PR] [more - CAPA Analysis]