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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
Royal Air Maroc
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)
813 total articles
56 total articles
A vigorous programme of airport privatisation is under way in Saudi Arabia, led by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and starting with the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, where the process has begun this year. GACA has also let it be known that the privatisation of the Jeddah and Dammam airports is targeted for conclusion in 2017, with domestic and local airports expected to follow between 2018 and 2020.
This report examines the background to this decision, which comes at the same time as Iran is seeking to attract foreign investors to its transport sectors, and also the attractions of the main individual airports. Politics will have a major role to play.
Air France flight 439 from Mexico City arrived in Paris CDG on 11-Jan-2016, and was the airline's last commercial 747 passenger flight.
The service brings to an end over 45 years of 747 flights at the French flag carrier. Later in 2016 Cathay Pacific and Saudia will also retire their passenger 747 models. Once a ubiquitous sight, 747-400s are disappearing, 221 of them now remaining in service (according to CAPA's Fleet Database). One third of them are in service with just three airlines: British Airways, United Airlines and KLM. BA operates almost twice as many 747-400s as the next largest operator, and still intends to have a 19-strong fleet by the end of 2020.
Almost half of the world's passenger 747-400s are with European carriers, but seven of the world's 10 longest 747-400 routes are to/from Australia, all operated by Qantas. Of the 15 longest 747-400 routes, all but one are to/from Asia-Pacific.
The fading of the 747-400 has meant a diminishing role on long haul routes. The aircraft type accounted for nearly half of Asia-Europe and Asia-North America flights in 1H2006, but in 1H2016 it accounts for less than 10%. On the trans-Atlantic, 747 flights have gone from a 15% share to 9%.
The gradual liberalisation and infrastructure improvement in the Saudi Arabian aviation sector continues to build momentum, with the opening of Madinah Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport new privatised terminal at the beginning of Jul-2015.
The completion of the Madinah Airport project in western Saudi Arabia represents another milestone in the ongoing privatisation in Saudi's aviation sector. By looking to private partners for solutions, Saudi Arabia is accelerating the development of aviation infrastructure which has held back the growth of its airline sector, and of the wider economy.
The construction of new airports, alongside the development of existing facilities such as this new terminal, is needed for the country to support long-term plans to turn aviation into an economic driver in the kingdom. As oil prices remain depressed, the Saudi economy is increasingly looking to its non-oil sectors to ensure growth continues. Private participation will only take on an increasing level of importance, in aviation and elsewhere.
Following the withdrawal of its short-lived long-haul flying, Saudi Arabian LCC flynas is concentrating on its core domestic market, which accounts for just under two-thirds of seat capacity in Apr-2015, according to OAG data. The domestic Saudi market had been challenging with the existence of a domestic fare cap and national carrier Saudia receiving subsidised fuel.
flynas is benefitting from a late 2014 change that allows it to exceed the fare cap for bookings within 10 days of departure - an essential part pf many LCCs' revenue management strategies. A few days before departure Saudia typically has only limited inventory remaining and is unable to increase economy fares, leaving flynas as the only option.
flynas aims to carry six million passengers in 2015 with a fleet of 24 A320s, making it the Middle East's third largest LCC after flydubai (46 aircraft) and Air Arabia (36). Like other airlines, flynas is looking to grow partnerships. It may join Air Arabia in partnering with Filipino LCC Cebu Pacific, which operates long-haul A330 flights to the Middle East. There could also be a partnership with Turkey's Pegasus.
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.