Saudia CEO On How New Terminal At Jeddah, Growth In Religious Traffic, Product Improvements And 27% Decrease In Ex-Fuel CASK Is Transforming The “Sleeping Giant”

In this extensive interview, Saudia CEO Jaan Albrecht discusses how the airline has successfully transformed over the last three years as it has integrated more than 80 new aircraft and improved its product. Another step change is occurring over the next few months as Saudia moves into a new terminal at its Jeddah hub, resulting in further product improvements and enabling it to pursue more sixth freedom traffic. An increased focus on religious traffic (resulting in a 12ppts market share gain) and costs (resulting in a 27% reduction in non-fuel CASK) are two other key pillars of Saudia’s transformation programme. “I have used the term sleeping giant. Saudia is the 30th biggest airline in the world. We have so much potential but it has been neglected over the years for several reasons,” Mr Albrecth says. “Now with a focused approach we are seeing quite a success in putting Saudia to where it belongs.”

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