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Saudia Uses 777s For Europe Routes. Is It Logical?  
User currently offlineEmrecan From Turkey, joined Feb 2000, 940 posts, RR: 7
Posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5254 times:

Hi everybody.

I wonder why Saudia mostly uses 777s for European routes. Isn`t it expensive for them?

thnxxxx

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRoblondon70 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5228 times:

Status symbols?? Did they not get them by some barter deal??

Surely no justification except to LHR. Other routes are served at poor frequency levels and with too many stops.

Perhaps these routes should be abandoned or seved with smaller types?? I doubt SV is accustomed to worrying overly about its balance sheet though.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5205 times:

I would agree that SV should have downgraded to smaller equipment for most European routes AGES ago - but perhaps they are stuck in a nostalgic L1011 era, when they had big luxurious widebodies flying absolutely everywhere during the oil boom, and money was no object.

They fly to NCE weekly with a 777 - I don't know how well the flight does though. It doesn't connect very well to anywhere via RUH, so one asks oneself really, is there any point ?


User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5204 times:

It is not only the 772 operating into Europe. ATH and MXP are scheduled by a M90.

Saudi Arabian doesn't have a lot of options too. Do you think operating 744, 743 or 741 would be the cheaper way?



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineCloud4000 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5171 times:

Saudia is not run along business lines, but like most government-owned entities, it's used for political patronage.

Saudia bought the 777s (and MD-11s, 744s, MD-90s) under political pressure from the US. In reality, it didn't need that many aircraft, nor did they have money to pay them.

And I believe the royal family can fly on Saudia for free, thus explain flights to Nice, Geneva, etc.



Boston, USA
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5139 times:

The Royal Family don't typically fly on Saudia...they have their own fleet. in fact there is a runway or used to be in RUH when i lived there, for the king only.




The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineJrlander From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4969 times:

Saudia doesn't have to make a profit. It is a status symbol of the country, especially on international routes.

User currently offlineCloud4000 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4923 times:

When I mean royal family, I mean the thousands of prince and princesses, their families, their servants, hanger-on, what have you. Not all of them have their own jets.




Boston, USA
User currently offlineRoblondon70 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4915 times:

are you sure????!!! LOL

User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4835 times:

The Royal Family don't typically fly on Saudia...they have their own fleet.

There are over 2000 Royal Family members. Only a select few have their own VIP planes operated by Saudi Arabian.

Saudi Arabian uses its 777s on domestic routes and on Middle East routes as well.

When I look at routes such as Jeddah - Beirut, Riyadh - Beirut, Jeddah - Damascus, Riyadh - Damascus, Jeddah - Amman, Riyadh - Amman, Jeddah -Cairo, Riyadh - Cairo, Dammam - Cairo, etc. flights are always full in all classes just a few days before the day's flight.

People in the Middle East are used to flying on routes of low frequencies and getting on larger aircraft.

It's not like in the west where routes are served at high frequencies and smaller aircraft for convenience purposes and connections.

Emirates, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air all do the same also to a certain extent. Their difference though is they focus on connections through their hubs, so they typically operate more frequencies.

Saudi Arabian does not market themselves for connections. They simply cater the Saudi market.

Speaking of Nice though, Emirates flies 773s there via Rome.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4792 times:

Saudia is a great airline. It is also one of the world's worst. It all depends on which route you are travelling and the status that destination holds for the Saudis. IE: Flying to SIN or India isn't a nice experience but flying to LHR, JFK, KUL and a few others the service is really quite good.

Unlike the West, the Saudi public do not normally book their travel in advance. It is quite normal to decide your family holiday destination that morning! All flts tend to be heavily overbooked as they change their plans at the last minute too.

The saudis like space when they travel and the 777 gives them that. Like any airline flts during the week have lower loads and their weekend flts are pretty much full. Trying to get a flt from Europe to RUH or JED on a Thu or Fri (their weekend) is near impossible.

Using a 777 to Europe is not a waste. The way they travel demands an aircraft like the 777.


User currently offlineBG001 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4746 times:

Saudi Arabian doesn't have a lot of options too. Do you think operating 744, 743 or 741 would be the cheaper way?

you are absolutely right...except for a few A300..B777s are the smallest widebodied and newest aircraft in their pax fleet. at the same time..none of their europen loads justifies flying 777s. not even LHR. Most of the time they go out of RUH or JED with less than 100 on board.

Saudia is a great airline. It is also one of the world's worst. It all depends on which route you are travelling and the status that destination holds for the Saudis.

110% right. I took their 744 flight out of JFK to JED and then RUH to JFK...great experience , great service...then 741 flight to and from DAC...oh man....I PROMISED THAT I WOULD RATHER WALK THAN TAKING SV FLIGHTS TO DAC.


User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4717 times:

BG001
Glad to see that someone else has had the same experience as me!

The pleasure, the pain that is Saudia.

Cheers


User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4692 times:

I flew SV on following sectors:
GVA-JED on 772
JED-BKK on 744
DAC-RUH on 743
RUH-JED-ATH-MXP on M90

all flights where ok. food was good, crew was nice and friendly and no bad experience. except the 12hrs layover in RUH. Even the DAC-RUH flight on the 743 was ok, must be because we got upgraded to F class  Big grin !



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineHz747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1665 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4652 times:
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Saudia is not run along business lines, but like most government-owned entities, it's used for political patronage.

Saudia bought the 777s (and MD-11s, 744s, MD-90s) under political pressure from the US. In reality, it didn't need that many aircraft, nor did they have money to pay them.

And I believe the royal family can fly on Saudia for free, thus explain flights to Nice, Geneva, etc.


Read the book, "Birds of Prey". Both the US Government and the European Governments were pushing hard for the Saudia fleet renewal deal. Saudi Arabian (then DBA as Saudia) did not buy more than they need, nor they pressured. Airbus and Boeing were bending over backwards to win that deal.

And your comment about "not having the money to pay them" does not even past the laugh test.

There has been a shift in the Western traffic to the Kingdom. Most Westerners fly Western airlines to the Kingdom now (for liquor, not having wear the abaya, and nudity on the PTVs), whereas before that was not the case. First, the the two stop flights are not convenient, and there is enough service from at least one Euro country per day to satisfy the demand. Saudi Arabian probably flies the 777s to Europe because the 744s make no sense, and the MD90s do not necessarily have the range. Saudi Arabian could have been well-served with an aircraft in the A332/767 class for those routes, they chose not to buy them.



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlineCloud4000 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4588 times:

Could not find the book you mentioned, please cite the author.

Nevertheless, I get my information from the book Sleeping with the Devil by Robert Baer. He says that the Clinton Administration pressured the Saudis to purchase Boeing aircraft.

And Saudis could afford the aircraft because of depressed oil prices andtheir already crushing debt load. But politics is politics, I suppose.



Boston, USA
User currently offlineFd728 From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

Well they obviously need something smaller than the Triple 7 in their fleet to fill the gap and to replace the A306s with those well serving but not really economical JT9Ds. What about a potential 7E7 customer? Or is it Airbus' turn now? Maybe they hop on the Qatar train to start a competition between the A350 and the 7E7. I've seen Saudi be more progressive in recent months with lots of commercials on CNN and presenting a "New World of Choices". Maybe they are more keen on competing with those growing neighbor airlines such as Emirates and Qatar now.
However, I read here on a.net that a replacement being sought for the last 732s is more imminent. Curious on how fast they decide when to place an order.

FD728


User currently offlineAlespesl From Czech Republic, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4428 times:

SV flew this summer between PRG and JED & RUH on 777. The flight continued from PRG to FRA, however they did not sell tickets for PRG-FRA sector. That would be very nice to fly on B777 from PRG to FRA.


Next Flight: Oct 10: PRG-MUC-KIV EMB 195/CRJ 900, Oct 12: KIV-MUC-PRG CRJ900/EMB 195 wiht Lufthansa
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5694 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4409 times:

Ales,
I remember someone on a.net asking about interesting intra-European flights onboard widebodies. I was recommending him FRA-PRG-FRA with Saudia. It was offered for 170-190 EUR on , btw a really good webpage selling last minute deals for scheduled flights.


User currently offlineAndrewuber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 40
Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4239 times:

I lived in Dubai for two years, and used to fly to Doha for my visa run. EK usually operates the A330 on that route, but twice a week (or at least it was twice a week back in 2001 / 2002), those flights were on 777-200's. It's amazing to go on a 20 minute flight in a 777. I used to take a book with me and leave it at my seat, go through the Doha terminal and get back into the same seat for the return flight.

Of all my visa flights, most were on 777's (I'd go specifically on the days they'd operate the 777), some were on A330's, and I even flew on their old A-310 one night. All were pleasant flights. Most were full, and Dubai made TONS of money in the process.



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineAlespesl From Czech Republic, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4155 times:

L410Turbolet

Can you tell me where can you buy such flights? I might have had that website, but since i formatted my disk, i have lost everthing. If you have it, please send it to me. If you know any other places where to buy good tickets, send them as well.

Thanks
Ales



Next Flight: Oct 10: PRG-MUC-KIV EMB 195/CRJ 900, Oct 12: KIV-MUC-PRG CRJ900/EMB 195 wiht Lufthansa
User currently offlineAndrej From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 927 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4097 times:

Hello all,

I am just wondering, but B777 has pretty good cargo capacity, right? Maybe they are are having high demand for cargo thus they use widebodies to EU.

Cheers,
Andrej


User currently offlineCloud4000 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3793 times:

I've seen photos on A.net of SV 777s in Salzburg. Do they fly there regularly as well?


Boston, USA
User currently offlineEK345 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 3440 times:

I am sure that the professionals whose job it is to accurately forecast capacity needs know what they are doing and this is why Saudi Arabian decided to go with 772s for its European routes. These flights have been booked solid especially since more Arabs have now started to avoid the US and focus their leisure and money on Europe and Southeast Asia.

I suppose you would use this same argument for the 744 short regional flights in places like Japan?

EK345



"and miles to go before I sleep..."
User currently offlineEK345 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 3427 times:

Ironically in another thread the shortest widebody flights are also being discussed. Maybe we should be talking about some of the routes mentioned there instead of the 5+ hr full load flights on the Saudi Arabian 772s to Europe.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1803054/

EK345



"and miles to go before I sleep..."
25 Emrecan : Thank you everyone for your replies... I`ve flown with SV several times from Istanbul to Madinah and Jeddah to Istanbul. Most flights were with 777s a
26 BestWestern : The short hop flights within the gulf on wide bodied aircraft make sense as a filler between European Destinations. A 777 can easily do a LON - DXB -
27 Babybus : "The short hop flights within the gulf on wide bodied aircraft make sense as a filler between European Destinations." In fact the SV LHR-JED evening d
28 Post contains links and images Hbfly : I've seen photos on A.net of SV 777s in Salzburg. Do they fly there regularly as well? You are talking about this one?? View Large View MediumPhoto &c
29 Post contains links and images Yak42 : Why cant they use their A306s of which they have 10 or so, for the European routes more often? I think they would be more appropriate for thinner rout
30 BA : Yak42, They use the A300s mostly on domestic routes and a few Middle Eastern routes. I have heard some of SV's European routes like LHR and CDG fill u
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