SAA ready for summer rush with new planes
Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) is fully geared up to meet the summer rush and contribute to the Kingdom's plan to promote domestic tourism with the arrival of 60 of the 61 new aircraft ordered by the company, says its director-general, Dr Khaled A Ben Bakr.Bakr said the new aircraft which feature state-of-the-art equipment will enable the airline to carry nearly 4.5 million passengers on board 27,363 scheduled and extra domestic and international flights during the summer, which runs till September 1. The Saudi flag carrier plans to operate 352 extra domestic flights offering 87,862 seats this summer, a Riyadh Daily report said. An airline spokesman said it will operated 164 extra flights on the Riyadh-Jeddah sector, 19 on Dammam-Riyadh sector, 57 Riyadh-Abha, 12 Dammam-Al-Baha, and 10 on Al-Baha-Riyadh. Ninety extra flights will be operated from Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah to Qassim, Najran, Jizan Al-Jouf, Tabuk, Hail, Madinah, Taif, Bisha and Al Quriyat. The spokesman said SAA will also operate 295 extra flights on its international routes offering 107,629 more seats to popular holiday destinations. The SAA will operate 105 more flights to Cairo, 67 to Khartoum, 12 to Amman, seven to Beirut and 41 shared flights to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. It will also operate extra direct flights to Malaga and Nice and increase the frequency of scheduled flights to Cairo from 21 to 41 a week with a total seating capacity of 12,215. The airline will increase flights to Alexandria by six weekly providing a total seating capacity of 726. It will increase frequency of flights to the United States from four to eight a week which will include three flights a week to Orlando, home of Disney's famous theme parks. The frequency of flights to Beirut has been doubled from 6 to 12 while the frequency to Damascus has increased from 7 to 11 a week. London will have 14 weekly flights with a total seating capacity of 3,416, while flights to Paris go up to 7 a week, and to Kuala Lumpur to three weekly with a total capacity of 1,074 passengers. Bakr said the scheduled flights would be reviewed constantly in order to increase the efficiency of operations. Some flights may have to be re-routed and frequency increased in order to meet demand. The airline has also lined up special domestic and international holiday packages. The domestic packages are aimed at encouraging citizens to enjoy the various attractions in the Kingdom, the spokesman said. The international packages have been prepared taking into account the need for privacy of Saudi families and their customs.