Al-Jasser added, “The noteworthy results and great strides in operational performance in 2017 also included a dedicated emphasis on improving the guest experience with new products and services.”
“A new mobile app was introduced for smartphones, with continued updates to increase the convenience and flexibility when booking and managing flights. Saudia witnessed an 82% growth rate in the mobile application, and a 1,095% growth in using the new self-service kiosks spread in many of the Kingdom’s airports and other convenient locations,” he added.
Al-Jasser confirmed that the unprecedented achievements last year are attributed to the airline only, and does not include the subsidiary companies. Saudia Private Aviation, Al Bayraq, flyadeal, have all achieved great success and continued growth in their respective operational performance.
During the Skytrax Awards at the Paris Air Show in June 2017, Saudia was named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’, rising 31 spots over a period of 12 months. Skytrax is recognized as the global benchmark of industry excellence, surveying almost 20 million air travelers annually.
Saudia, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has achieved outstanding operational performance and an unprecedented number of guests flown, total flights operated, and seat capacity during 2017.
The total number of passengers that traveled with Saudia rose significantly last year to reach more than 32 million guests and 200,000 flights flown last year. The overall enhancement in operations and total growth is attributed to a number of initiatives within the airline.
In mid-2015, the airline launched a transformation program — the SV Strategic Plan 2020 — which was designed to develop the performance of the national carrier, raise the overall efficiency through the investment in new state-of-the-art modern aircraft; new onboard products, and talent development.
Saudia’s overall performance last year was a reflection of growth in passenger seats; total number of flights; and total guests flown on both domestic and international sectors.
More than 2 million additional seats were introduced into the domestic market, making worries about finding a seat in the domestic network a thing of the past. Furthermore, the total number of guests traveling with Saudia on international sectors grew 14% compared to the same period last year.
Overall, passenger numbers grew to 32.16 million guests in 2017, achieving an 8% increase in one year. More than 200,000 flights were flown; 119,000 domestic flights; 78,000 international flights and more than 9,000 flights for Haj and Umrah.
The total increase in flights was largely attributed to the significant investment in new modern aircraft, which the airline has taken delivery of — a total of 32 new aircraft were inducted into the fleet last year and 28 the year prior. Saudia’s latest aircraft to join the fleet includes the Boeing 777, B787 (Dreamliner), Airbus A320, and A330-300 Regional.
In 2017 Saudia flew more than 530,000 flight hours to 90 domestic and international destinations — which increased to 100 destinations during the Haj season. The religious traffic segment saw a phenomenal growth of 40% last year in the number of Haj guests traveling with Saudia, a record growth in the airline’s history.
For the year 2018, Saudia continues to grow and align with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and the guidance of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.
Saudia will continue to build on achievements and growth targets, building on its foundation as a full service global carrier offering the latest products and finest levels of services. The airline is currently in its 73rd year of operations. — SG