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- Saudi Arabian Airlines
P.O.Box 620,Jeddah 21231
Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia
- Main hub
- Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport
- Saudi Arabia
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Domestic | International
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
- Air Europa Lineas Aereas
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Middle East Airlines
Based in Jeddah, Saudia is the national airline of Saudi Arabia and is wholly owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The airline operates a network of domestic and regional services within Saudi Arabia and the Middle East as well as Asia, Europe and North America from its main base at Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Previously named Saudi Arabian Airlines, the carrier formally joined the SkyTeam alliance on 29-May-2012, becoming the alliance's 16th global member and first member from the Middle East. Saudi Arabian also used the occasion to re-brand, adopting its old name of "Saudia".
Location of Saudia main hub (Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport)
657 total articles
52 total articles
Saudi Arabia's flynas is returning to its origins as a regional airline. flynas has ended scheduled long-haul flights, which did not garner enough awareness and were met with a strong competitive response and had a limited schedule. A large number of routes were spread too thin in a short period of time, which quickly accumulated losses. flynas will retain long-haul chartered flying. In 2015 flynas will keep its fleet flat at 24 A320s but seek to boost utilisation from about 10 hours to 12 hours. flynas aims to carry 6 million passengers in 2015, up from 3.5 million in 2013.
Domestic prospects are boosted now that flynas has secured a major victory with regulators who have lifted the fare cap on domestic economy tickets. flynas can charge more for its highest priced seats than Saudia, which receives subsidised fuel and, with an 82.5% load factor, often sells out of seats. Low-risk innovation will occur as flynas seeks more partnerships.
flynas may need to take bolder measures in 2015 if it wants to make a competitive response to the planned entry of two new carriers in Saudi – Al Maha Airways and SaudiGulf – but for now flynas believes the two start-ups will focus on other parts of the Saudi market and not low-cost travel.
Can full service carriers close the cost gap with low-cost carriers? Is this the right question to ask? Why do FSC groups create LCC subsidiaries? Can a network model and a point to point LCC model co-exist within the same group? What does this mean for corporate culture?
At CAPA's Airlines in Transition 2014 conference in Dublin in Apr-2014, Professor Rigas Doganis led a panel discussion examining the issues of the hybridisation of the LCC/FSC business models and operating dual LCC/FSC brands within the same group.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh, Comair CEO Erik Venter, flynas CEO Raja Azmi and Aer Lingus Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Stephen Kavanagh offered their insights.
Since the Saudi Arabian Government ended the monopoly of national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) in 2007, the aviation market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been one of the Middle East’s most rapidly evolving, if not expanding.
The country has the largest domestic market in the Middle East, with a population of 29 million people spread over 2.1 million sq km, but has not been able to replicate the rapid growth its GCC neighbours have enjoyed because of regulatory impediments. A longstanding protectionist policy supporting Saudia is giving way to a scenario in which competition and growth are key elements.
Vueling has provisionally been assigned two weekly frequencies to operate between Spain and Saudi Arabia by Spain’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The rights allow it to operate from anywhere in Spain to Jeddah and/or Dhahran (via the airport of Dammam) in Saudi Arabia. Spain’s bilateral with Saudi Arabia allows for seven weekly frequencies, but, to date, Vueling is the only Spanish carrier to apply for rights.
Jeddah is the number one Saudi airport and Dammam number three by seat capacity (week of 13-Jan-2013, source: OAG). Vueling has not yet made public any plans to launch routes utilising these rights, but the Saudi market has some attractive characteristics. Moreover, Saudia is currently the only scheduled operator between the two nations, operating Jeddah to Madrid.
However, routes to both Saudi cities from Vueling’s Barcelona base would be significantly longer than any of its existing routes. Indeed, at more than 4,000km, they would rank among the longest narrowbody LCC flights anywhere in the world. Could Vueling’s skills in evolving the LCC model extend to what would effectively be a long-haul service?
Arab Air Carriers show that not all are created equal, but the rest of the world can learn from them
At the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Amsterdam in Nov-2013, one of the recurring themes was the success of Middle East airlines. Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), gave his thoughts on the development of Arab airlines, their success and the lessons to be learned.
Building on their geographical location, supportive government policies and relative political stability, some AACO carriers – notably Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – have developed business models combining cost efficiency, high growth and a premium service. Of course, this formula has not been replicated everywhere in the region and it is a little misleading to talk about Arab carriers as a homogeneous group.
Nevertheless, other participants in the aviation sector, whether operator or government and whether in the Arab world or elsewhere, could learn some useful lessons from the success of the Gulf Three in particular.
Qatar Airways has named its forthcoming Saudi Arabian carrier "Al Maha Airways" but says it will not start operations until the first half of 2014 at the earliest. While Qatar has been unusually quiet on the operation and is not known to have ever stated a launch date, Saudi regulators had said it would launch before the end of 2013 as part of its liberalisation process. Qatar, along with a Gulf Air-linked group, was awarded in Dec-2012 a licence to operate domestic flights in Saudi Arabia as part of overdue reform in the aviation and tourism sector.
The Saudi government is right to rejuvenate the sector, but reform in early initiatives – the privatisation of Saudi Arabian Airlines – has proven slow. It now seems loosening the reigns on the domestic market is more challenging than imagined by regulator General Authority of Civil Aviation. GACA says it has had prolonged negotiations with government entities to reduce fuel prices for new carriers. Saudi Arabian Airlines receives fuel subsidies that distort the market and forced the exit in 2010 of start-up Sama. A cap on domestic fares makes some flights unprofitable even for Saudi. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told Reuters in reserved remarks he has an "undertaking" from Saudi authorities that these two "contentious issues" will be resolved. While domestic growth has lagged international growth – creating opportunity – there are, as Mr Baker said, "many challenges".