Saudia Joins SkyTeam
SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today welcomed Saudia as its 16th member at a joining ceremony held in Jeddah. The flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, Saudia becomes SkyTeam’s first member airline from the Middle East and gives the alliance a strong foothold in this important economic region..
Saudia’s membership adds value to the alliance by opening up the considerable Saudi Arabian market to our customers. We are responding to passenger demand for increased travel choice within the Middle East by adding a significant player from the region. This allows us to offer more destinations, while continuing our focus on enhancing products and services for our global customers.
Joining SkyTeam is an integral part of Saudia’s long-term transformation strategy, which includes rebranding our airline, restructuring core operations and enhancing onboard products and airport services. “We are proud to become SkyTeam’s first Middle Eastern member and this milestone marks a momentous occasion in our airline’s history. We look forward to a bright future as a SkyTeam member, offering a greater worldwide network and benefits to our customers.
From its hubs in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam, Saudia operates a comprehensive network throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Northern Africa. Saudia adds 51 new destinations to SkyTeam’s global network, including 23 within Saudi Arabia. Examples of new destinations are: Islamabad, Pakistan; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Alexandria, Egypt.
Prior to joining SkyTeam, Saudia embarked on a four-year turnaround program, which will be completed by 2013. As a key part of this program, the airline took the opportunity to refresh its corporate identity and change its name. Upon joining SkyTeam, the name Saudia was reintroduced, the airline’s name from 1972 to 1996, still fondly used by its customers. Honour, an aviation brand experience consultancy, designed and managed the brand refresh program. Other elements of Saudia’s transformation plan include modernizing IT, commercial, operational and financial platforms and renewing the fleet by acquiring 90 new aircraft.
During the joining ceremony, Saudia unveiled two aircraft painted in SkyTeam livery. The aircraft are a Boeing B777-200 (reg. HZ-AKC) deployed on routes to Dubai, London, New York and Guangzhou, in addition to an Airbus A320 (reg. HZ-ASF) used primarily on routes to Europe and the UAE.
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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded in 1919, making it the world’s oldest airline still operating under its original name. In 2004, Air France and KLM merged to form AIR FRANCE KLM. The merger produced the strongest European airline group based on two powerful brands and hubs – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Retaining its own identity, the group focuses on three core businesses: passenger transport, cargo and aircraft maintenance.
In the Netherlands, KLM comprises the core of the KLM Group, which further includes KLM Cityhopper, transavia.com and Martinair. KLM serves all its destinations using a modern fleet and employs over 33,000 people around the world. KLM is a leader in the airline industry, offering reliable operations and customer-oriented products resulting from its policy of enthusiasm and sustainable innovation.
KLM is a member of the global SkyTeam airline alliance, offering customers an extensive worldwide network. The KLM network connects the Netherlands to every important economic region in the world and, as such, serves as a powerful driver for the economy.
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive worldwide network offering more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers access to over 490 lounges worldwide.