Saudi Arabian implements new growth plan
Riyadh, October 9, 2007
Saudi Arabian Airlines has begun implementing a strategic plan of growth by investing in technology and training, and increasing flights.
The airline has entered a new era in which it is accelerating its pace and setting the highest standards of quality in terms of performance and services, said a senior official.
The moves come as the airline prepares for privatization. It also follows increasing competition from other airlines at local, regional and international levels.
In a statement, Eng Khaled Al Molhem, the director general, said: 'We are taking a great leap forward into the future and in order to ensure the success of this very crucial period, we have begun, gradually and through a multi-phased program, to implement the airline's strategic plan.
“This includes upgrading the technical infrastructure, expanding the network to serve the airline's marketing objectives, upgrading the sales, reservations, airport and on-board services, and a complete facelift for the Al Fursan program,” he said.
“These moves come after more than 1.3 million e-tickets have been issued, converting more than 50 percent customers to the e-ticketing system. In addition, the Saudi Arabian Airlines website is being upgraded and a complete restructuring of training programs for the staff is taking place, all with the objective of keeping up with the requirements of this new era and improving the work environment,' said Al Molhem.
Upgrading the Technical Infrastructure
This is the most important phase of development at Saudi Arabian Airlines, which aims at enhancing the technical infrastructure to make it more flexible in order to simplify reservations and ticketing procedures. This phase also includes the re-design of the Saudi Arabian Airlines website to host user-friendly features, beginning with reservations. Saudi Arabian Airlines will also provide promotional offers for customers who book online directly.
Frequent flyer program
Saudi Arabian Airlines is currently restructuring Al Fursan after months of research and field studies, which targeted various customer segments on what they expect from a frequent flyer and rewards program. These programs will include the introduction of a new family program, which will be launched before the end of this year to support Al Fursan's 600,000 plus members, a number that is growing at a level of 3 percent a month.
Modern Offices & New Destinations
As part of its upgrade program, Saudi Arabian Airlines is working on modernising its sales and ticketing offices, adding a personalised touch in order to enhance relations with its customers. It is expected that a number of new destinations will be added in addition to rescheduling flights and increasing frequency to the most popular destinations.
Saudi Arabian Airlines began this procedure by increasing the number of flights to Dubai to 44 flights per week. Also, due to increasing demand for flights to Sharm Al Shaikh, the airlines has announced a regular schedule to the Red Sea tourist destination all year round instead of the summer season only.
Overall, the airline carried more than 5.2 million passengers during the summer period.
Investing in Human Capital
In a step to develop its workforce, Saudi Arabian Airlines has approved a series of specialised training programs for both its frontline and technical staff at all levels within the organisation, in addition to developing the workforce in the administration and finance departments. This new direction will support the massive investments in technology and information to assist in achieving maximum efficiency in operations and management.
Al Molhem reaffirmed that these comprehensive development programs will represent a turning point in the future direction of the airline, whi