Saudi Arabian Airlines to privatize sectors

January 02, 2014 - 10:35:57 am

JEDDAH: Efforts are underway to privatize four major sectors of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) this year. 

Including Prince Sultan Aviation Academy and Saudia Private Airline.

"Saudia" Vice President For Public Relations Abdullah Al-Ajhar said two other units earmarked for privatization in 2014 include medical services, which include a 400-bed hospital, and Saudi Airlines Real Estate Development Company.

"Saudia" has already privatized five units including catering, cargo, ground services and Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries. 

"This year will witness the privatization of about 70 to 80 percent of our strategic units".

He said the privatization efforts have enabled the organization to increase its revenues. 

The profits of ground services reached SR600 million while the Catering Company makes a profit of SR400 to SR600 million. Saudia cargo makes similar profits. 

Speaking to the English daily "Arab News" Thursday, Al-Ajhar disclosed Saudia’s plan to purchase 35 new aircraft to beef up services in the domestic sector. 

The airline aims to transport 22 million passengers between Saudi cities by 2020. 

"We are still in the planning stage. We have yet to determine the model and size of the new aircraft," he said. 

He said Saudia would receive the remaining 20 aircraft of a previous 90-plane order within two years. 

"These aircraft will have three classes and their business class will have sleeper beds."

Al-Ajhar called 2013 a year of outstanding achievements for the company. 

"We have transported a record 25 million passengers in 2013 and expect to carry more than 26 million in 2014." 

"The addition of 70 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to the fleet is another major achievement," he said.

He highlighted Saudia’s efforts to improve services by upgrading its IT infrastructure and expanding self-service systems. 

"There has been a 300 percent increase in the number of website users while our electronic sales have grown to SR2.7 billion". (QNA)

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