The nice situations in history can make a breakthrough for major projects! the beginning of Saudi Arabian Airlines was an analogy of such situations.
After the historic meeting of King Abdul -Aziz with US President Franklin Roosevelt, the American president presented the King with a DC - 3 aircraft, which later became the nucleus of the "Saudi Airlines". It began carrying passengers between Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran, then it was later strengthened with a fleet of aircraft over a period of 72 years to become one of the largest airlines in the Middle East and the world.
The Saudi Arabian Airlines is considered the national airline of Saudi Arabia and one of the members of the Arab Air Carriers' Organization. The King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah is the main hub of its operational processes, as well as the other operational branches at "King Khalid International Airport" in Riyadh, "Prince Mohamed Bin Abdul Aziz Airport" in Al Madinah Al Munawara, "King Fahd International Airport" in Dammam and "Abha Regional Airport". The Saudi Airlines is characterized by a strong operational movement whereas an aircraft of its fleet takes off every 3 minutes. It operates flights to 102 destinations in Asia, Africa, Europe, The Middle East, and North America.
The main operation of "Saudi Arabian Airlines" emerges from three major airports, which are:
Through its long history, The Saudi Arabian Airlines has been awarded many international awards by foreign airlines, specialized magazines in the aviation industry and its support services, or international organizations and bodies related to the air transport industry, the most prominent are:
The Sky Team alliance is considered the second largest airline alliance in the world, established in 2000, bringing the total number of allied companies to 20 companies, including Saudi Arabian Airlines, which joined on 29 May 2012. This alliance enabled the Saudi Arabian Airlines to gain many benefits for itself and its customers, which are:
Along with a host of other features that vary by destinations and classes of flights.
This alliance aims to coordinate the flights of businessman so that two or more airlines participate in the same flight. The Saudi Arabian Airlines has concluded the Common Code agreements with:
Passengers enjoy a special service with Arabic coffee, as well as a variety of high-quality dishes and appetizers, an entertainment system with a variety of visuals, and obtaining a gift bag contains comfort and ornamental accessories during the flight, as well as spacious and electronically controlled seats.
This class is designed to meet the requirements of business owners by providing them with the convenience of having a practical task or the possibility of work and completion on the flight. Passengers of this class will enjoy the same privileges as the first class passengers in addition to creating a comfortable operating environment.
The on-board hospitality class on the "Saudia" has a competitive quality for similar classes on the major airlines in the Middle East and the world, thanks to more comfortable and more flexible seats that can be controlled, advanced entertainment and communication systems, gifts bag contains sets and tools for sleep and rest are granted on some flights, along with a variety of varied meals on long flights, both domestically and internationally.
The Saudi Airlines' meals offered to passengers are characterized by diversity, high quality preparation and attention to safety and health standards, all taking into account the nature of the flight and the service levels. The quality of the meals varies according to destinations. There are meals prepared for Middle East trips, for Asia and Far East trips, and so for Europe and North America.
The Saudi Arabian Airlines offers special meals for First and Business Class passengers, as well as meals prepared for the passengers of Hospitality class, pilgrims, and performers of Umrah, all that have been supervised by an international team of international culinary experts coming from different cultures to ensure the authenticity of the flavors and dishes being offered.
The passengers can choose their favorite meals in advance while booking their flights, and choose between food patterns suitable for their food habits, such as vegetarian meals, low-fat meals or diabetic meals, as well as regular meals that touch the taste of a variety of people.
In 1985, The “Saudia" launched "air sales" service on its flights, under the supervision of logistics department, and since then, the service has evolved to possess numerous international awards as a result of customer service style, goods quality and reasonable prices. This service was also characterized by the possibility to take advantage of it on plane, or through air sales centers at airports or in some cities, along with the possibility to shop via the service website on the Internet.
Via this service, clients of "Saudi Arabian Airlines" are able to buy all kinds of perfumes, accessories and ornaments, as well as gifts, toys and souvenirs bearing the company's logo for the collectors of memorabilia. We can mention essential features for this service, including:
The "Saudia" provides on board of its flights - especially long ones - entertainment programs broadcasted via screens installed behind the seats in many of its planes and are controlled via touching or a personal control device to provide an ideal environment to spend and enjoy time through a range of programs and video and audio presentations.
These screens enable passengers to view video shows on 24 broadcasting stations. In some planes, they can be up to 40 stations, including a variety of religious programs, Arabic and international films, documentaries and children's programs, which have been carefully selected to suit the tact of greatest possible number of passengers.
The audio material can be listened to through 12 audio stations, as well as several video games. These screens also provide a presentation about navigational information showing the itinerary and direction of Qibla as well as the possibility to watch the views seen by the captain thanks to the external cameras installed in front of and below the plane, which directly transfer the external scenes to the passengers.
The Saudi Airlines enables passengers to issue boarding passes within 24 hours till an hour and a half before the departure of the international flight, and one hour before the departure of the domestic flight, via 3 methods:
The arrival of a DC-3 aircraft as a gift from the President of the United States Roosevelt to the King Abdul Aziz and the performance of this aircraft for some domestic flights, so this step in preparation for the establishment of the Saudi Airlines.
The first international flight to the city of "Damascus".
The opening of the first official airport in the Kingdom in Jeddah, and the official announcement of the establishment of "Saudi Arabian Airlines" and the launch of its first logo.
The scheduled domestic and international flights to destinations such as Jeddah, Riyadh, Hofuf, Dhahran, Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Damascus were launched, especially after the expansion of its fleet with a series of "DC- 3", "DC-4" and "Bristol-170 ".
The addition of a number of the domestic and international destinations for the Saudi Airlines flight routes such as Al Madinah Al Munawara, Buraidah, Jazan, Istanbul, Karachi, Kuwait, Asmara and others, as well as the purchase of 10 Confer 340 aircraft, and the enhancement of the flight fleet to reach the number of 20 aircraft. The steps that lead to the establishment of the core of the pilot training institute in the city of "Jeddah" in 1958 in conjunction with the continued expansion of the network of domestic and international flights of "The Saudi Airlines" and its fleet during this decade.
As of the year 1960, the Saudi Airlines has entered the era of jet aviation as the first airline in the Middle East with two Boeing 720 models aircraft. A major expansion plan was then launched, including the opening of new domestic and international destinations (especially to European capitals), and continued to expand its aviation fleet by buying the modern aircraft. In 1963, the Royal Decree was issued, under which Saudi Airlines became an independent institution with a board of directors responsible for its management. In 1965, the Arab Air Carriers' Organization (AACO) was formed where the "Saudi Airline" was one of its founding members. In 1967, it joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA), concluding the sixties decade in 1969 with flights to all North African countries after the accession of Algeria to its flights network, and the entry of Saudi crews to operate all its aircraft of " DC - 9 " model.
This decade has seen a quantum leap for the Saudi Airlines' route thanks to the first oil boom experienced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the high traffic to and from the Kingdom. In 1972, the company took "Saudi Arabia" as its official name and changed the visual identity of its colors to be of two colors: green and blue in addition to modernizing its fleet and increasing the number of its flights. After that, in the year 1973 the number of passengers on its flights reached one million passengers during a single year for the first time in its history. The number of passengers increased to 5 million in 1977, and the end of the seventies decade in 1979 with the transfer of 8 million passengers using more than 46 aircraft in its fleet. In addition to the launch of a new automated booking system in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and London, and conducting a direct flight between Dhahran and New York. As well as linking air operations management with "FRIARS" system and the maintenance with "MEMIS" system.
This decade has seen the leap progress of the "Saudi Airlines" between the international airlines companies, where the number of passengers through its flights reached 9 million passengers, after a variety of modern aircraft have been joined its fleet of aircraft, and the variation of the destinations domestically and internationally, in addition to supporting the private flights with business and VIPs. In 1981, King Abdul Aziz International Airport was officially opened in Jeddah so that the hub of operations of Saudi Airlines becomes readier for further development and expansion, and the first catering units were established in Jeddah. In 1983, the Saudi Airlines jumped to become on the top of the airlines in the Middle East by the transportation of more than 11 million passengers continuing to enhance its services during this decade, the Company has developed the "horizon" class allocated for the businessman, and has operated the "SARS" automated reservation system in Jeddah. This coincided with the developments included the provision of the air fleet with the latest models of aircraft in that period, such as: "Boeing 747" and "Airbus 300" where it was considered as one of the first international airlines that used this developed type of aircraft.
This decade has seen a further consolidation of the status of the "Saudi Airlines" between the airlines in the Middle East and the world, continuing to open new destinations domestically and internationally, booking offices around the world, the development of systems for the establishment and cancellation of reservations, and the development of the "hospitality" class rather than the traditional economy class to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first launch in 1995. Where the ceremony witnessed the purchase of 61 passenger and cargo aircraft of the latest international models at the time, and the adoption of a new visual identity for its logo and colors in 1996 as well as the development of its organizational structure.
The Saudi Airlines has started a phase-out program to privatize its services. The decade has significantly seen the expansion and updating its services, where the system of smoking prevention has been implemented on domestic and international flights, in addition to obtaining the European Federation Aviation Authority's license for aircraft maintenance and its equipment registered in Europe, the establishment of the air service sector in full, the launch of the self-service system for the issuance of boarding passes, the adoption of electronic tickets instead of paper ones, and the establishment of a unified service center for booking. In 2009, Saudi Arabian Airlines added 70 aircraft to its fleet of a variety of models, notably the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330, to complete the decade with more than 18 million passengers on it flights' board.
So far: This decade witnessed the focus of the activity of the "Saudi Arabian Airlines" to become more modern and up to the age, based on a long history of experience and development that qualified it to achieve qualitative leaps, where it launched the "World of Saudi Arabia" for tourism, and turned to booking system "Amadeus" which forms a qualitative leap in the level of services, focused on sending student groups to study aviation sciences, joined the Sky Team Global Alliance, revamped its visual identity and new personality, its General Directorate of Training was accredited as a regional training center for IATA. The company achieved international awards in the discipline of flight schedules and tourist preference seats class, also it received an award of excellence in the air cargo industry, and began to launch the halls of "Al Fursan" in a range of domestic and international airports to serve the discerning customers. In addition to the development of its loyalty program (Al Fursan), which provides many advantages to customers, and provided a special guide printed Braille language for their blind customers to guide them on the flight, and continued to modernize its fleet to become the world's first operator of the Airbus A300 - Airbus A330. Also, it included "Airbus A320" aircraft and "Boeing Dreamliner", and many other modern models to its fleet of aircraft. Today, the "Saudi Arabian Airlines" has transported more than 29 million passengers a year.