Sideline: Saudi Arabian Fleet Expansion

His Excellency the Minister of Transport, Chairman of the Board of General Authority of Civil Aviation, Chairman of the Board of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Mr. Sulaiman Alhamdan announced the approval by SAUDIA’s Board of Directors of SAUDIA’s fleet plan, part of which acquiring additional 63 modern airplanes.

Alhamdan further stated that “it is my pleasure that while we celebrate our National Day to announce that the national carrier has acquired 63 new aircraft as part of its fleet expansion and modernization plan reflecting the strength of our national economy.”

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Mr. Alhamdan sent his heartfelt congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH the Crown Prince and HRH the Deputy Crown Prince on the occasion of the 86th National Day.
SAUDIA’s Director General Engineer Saleh Aljasser elaborated that this new acquisition includes the following aircraft:

  • 15 Boeing 777-300ER’s
  • 13 Boeing 787’s
  • 35 Airbus A320/A321neo’s

Mr. Aljasser emphasized that these aircraft are in addition to the 50 Airbus aircraft (A330 Regional’s and A320’s) which SAUDIA has signed for last year in Paris under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense and His Excellency the President of France, and we have begun receiving some of these aircraft last month.

Mr. Aljasser declared that 2017 will witness the delivery of highest number of new aircraft (30) in the history of the airline, 22 of which are wide-body aircraft (777-300ER’s/787-9’s/A330R’s); while within the last 4 months of this year 2016 we are receiving 25 aircraft, 21 of which are wide-body’s in addition to the 4 aircraft we received earlier this year bringing the total deliveries in 2016 to 29 aircraft.

Source: Saudia Press Release

Saudi Arabian Airlines, False Hijacking Alarm

A Saudi Arabian Airlines passenger plane is pictured parked at the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines September 20, 2016. © Erik De Castro / Reuters

A Saudi Arabian Airlines passenger plane is pictured parked at the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International airport in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines September 20, 2016. © Erik De Castro


PH Foils Iranian Revolutionary Guards Plot to Hijack Saudia

Philippine authorities have foiled a bid to hijack a Saudi Arabian Airlines plane at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

According to Manila Bulletin, the authorities thwarted the plan and seized secret documents that confirm the plot. Apparently, 10 conspirators (Iranian Revolutionary Guards) left Iran on separate flights and arrived in several South East Asian countries via Turkey. The hijack plot is to be executed in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

As a precaution, the Saudi Embassy in MNL asked airport authorities to install screening devices and tighten security procedures for passengers traveling on Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines). A spokesman for Saudia said that the company gives top priority to aircraft security and are also working with other agencies.

“We are in constant contact with all stakeholders to ensure the safety of aircraft and its passengers. Security is an international responsibility.” he added.


Feature: Saudia Cabin Crew Berated For Not Wearing Hijab

A Saudi Arabian Airlines domestic flight was delayed for an hour after an old man kept shouting at a female cabin crew for not wearing a hijab (headscarf). Saudia female cabin crew are not obliged to wear a hijab but the uniform includes a hat.

In a flight from Taif to Riyadh, a passenger and his companion told the female cabin crew that she should cover her hair in front of other passengers.

Crew members stepped in and tried to calm the two men and to make them continue their boarding, but they kept shouting at the cabin crew who was shocked by their unexpected attitude, Saudi news site Al Marsad reported on Saturday.

The crew was forced to call the airport security agents to “deplane” the two men, and the plane was eventually able to fly out, one hour behind its schedule.

“There is a serious problem with Saudi companies that hire women without specifying that they should wear the headscarf,” Sultan, an online user, said. “It is part of the local culture and the women should adhere to it. If they do not like the rules, they do not apply to work. It is very simple,” he posted.

Tayyeb, another user, said that it was the duty of all Saudis to defend the traditions and values of the kingdom.

“The best solution for a problem is to avoid the problem in the first place,” he said. “The airline should not put women in direct contact with passengers and thus avoid awkward situations, especially for those keen on preserving traditions and customs,” he said.

However, Shihana, another user, said the old man and his companion were wrong in making public and loud remarks to the air-hostess, stressing they had no right to address her.

“Their irresponsible behaviour and reckless attitude gives the wrong impression about Islam and the way Muslims present advice and recommendations,” she said. “She is not going to appreciate such remarks in any way, and there will be hostility towards anyone who wishes to give her advice. At least, the two men could have talked with the plane senior crew, and not addressed the stewardess in such a manner,” she added.

Source: Habib Toumi,

Saudia Airlines Introduces Gender Segregation

  • Follows complaints from male fliers over men sitting next to their wives 
  • Airline will include instructions to flight booking staff at Gulf airports
  • Saudi Arabia is known for its gender segregation in public places

Saudi Arabia’s national airline is allegedly planning to separate male and female passengers on its flights, in accordance to strict rules enforced by the Gulf kingdom.

Gulf media report that Saudia will keep men and women segregated onboard, unless they are close relatives.

The move follows a spate of complaints from male fliers unwilling to allow other males to sit next to their wives and other female family members.

Complaints were also recently made when male passengers claimed a flight attendant was being too ‘flirty’.

‘There are solutions to this problem…we will soon enforce rules that will satisfy all passengers,’ Saudia assistant manager for marketing Abdul Rahman Al Fahd, told Saudi daily, Ajel.

It is thought that the airline will include instructions to flight booking staff at Gulf airports to keep these new rules in place.

The carrier’s policies are already in tune to the strict Islamic practices of Saudi Arabia: no alcoholic beverages or pork dishes are served onboard, a prayer of verse from the Quran is read before take off, and many international flights have a designated men’s prayer area.

In addition, Saudia does not employ Saudi women as cabin crew, opting to recruit women from other countries such as Pakistan, the Philippines, Albania and Bosnia instead.

But moves are being made to employ females on the ground in November, the airline opened its fourth women’s section staffed by entirely by females at its office in the Murooj district of Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The country is known for its gender segregation, with women requiring a male guardian approval to travel or work outside of the home.

In public spaces such as restaurants, beaches, amusement parks or banks, women are required to enter and exit through special doors.

Women who are seen socialising with a man who is not a relative can even be charged with committing adultery, fornication or prostitution.

The majority of Gulf operated airlines abide by Islamic laws, but vary over strictness.

For example United Emirates carrier, Etihad’s new A380 aircraft includes a prayer area in Business class, but the new cabin crew uniform, launched last month, does not feature a veil.

Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner, told MailOnline Travel: ‘Modern Arabia is what is going on in Abu Dhabi, we are inspired by what’s going on in the rest of the world, but through the lens of the local DNA.

Source: Emily Payne for MailOnline

Saudi Arabian Airlines Applies To Operate in Philippines


SAUDI Arabian Airlines has asked the commercial air service regulator for permission to operate international scheduled passenger and cargo services, according to a filing with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

 Saudi Arabian Airlines applied for a foreign air carrier permit, the first step in a process that will ultimately require Presidential approval.

The CAB, meanwhile, said it is scheduled a hearing for Saudi Arabian Airlines’s application on Aug. 27.

Under Section 16 of Republic Act 776, the carrier is required to publish a notice of hearing at least once for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

Saudi Arabian Airlines operates four Boeing 747 aircraft, 22 Boeing 777s, 12 Boeing 777-300 Extended Range models, 50 aircraft of various types from the Airbus A320 family, 12 Airbus A330-300s and 15 Embraer 170 regional aircraft.

The carrier flies to the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, India, Nigeria, Turkey, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Spain, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Singapore, France, Sudan, Syria, Qatar, United States, Italy, German, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Algeria, Pakistan, Kenya, Malaysia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Maldives, Iran, Morocco, the Philippines, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and Indonesia.

In 2012, the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to increase air services between the two countries to 21 flights per week from the current 10.

Source: Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz, BusinessWorld Online

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