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What's The Matter With Saudia?  
User currently offlineBeijing21 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2004, 83 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2576 times:

For now on the next heaven for Boeing and Airbus is getting their sales persons to the Gulf region...

So can anybody tell me why SV has not the powerful resources of establishing itself a major operator between Europe and Asia.

Is the royal management only the odd factor or is the royal fleet used without effective transit schedules for re-boarding ? (Maybe the saudi airport development master plan will enable them to compete)

Additionnal question : How can SV be successful only with operations going from 1 to 2 flights a week to NCE and GVA for instance.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2484 times:

Well, for starters, SV does not serve alcohol on board, so not all that many tourists would be at all pleased.

Second, the transit facilities at RUH (for example) are limited...and even less in JED.
I personally operated the FIRST SV flight from FRA into the new RUH airport, and a few of the scantly-clad German females on board in transit to BKK were quite a sight...but sure not for the police, who about had a fit at the sight.


User currently offlineAirbusCanada From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 327 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2432 times:

saudies dont' want their home land to be used by foreigners as transit point.
They are just too rich for that.
They like to think foreigners as their slave.


User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2327 times:

Yes it is true, SV's management have not exploited their potential. A few years ago when they recieved 61 brand new Boeings they should have really restructured themselves as a world class airline, getting a head start ahead of EK, QR, EY, etc. Currently they have a large passenger fleet (B747s, B777s, A300s, MD-90s) yet lack a significant international network which is served with inadequate frequencies (except LHR, CAI and other Arab capitals). The 747s and 777s are abit too big on some of their European services, the A300s are old and the MD-90s face problems operating out of the hot and high airports in the Kingdom. I hope they introduce a 200-250 seater aircraft (e.g 7E7s or A330s) which would perfectly fit many of their markets, allowing an increase in frequency and profitability.

Having said that SV are a very good airline offering modern and comfortable on-board facilites in all 3 classes and offer excellent service on the ground and in the air. Alcohol is an issue, but I don't think it puts them at such a huge disadvantage (and as a strict Muslim country I don't think that will change).


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However things are changing. The government have started many initiatives in the domestic aviation market, including the privatisation of local airports and opening up the market to competition with the first private airline, National Air Services, starting an all-business class shuttle service within the country with 2 brand new A319CJs.


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Also earlier this year authorities allowed G9 to start services to the country (JED, RUH and DMM) which was a surprise as they stated they would not allow any LCC to serve their main airports.


AirbusCanada, your views are quite distorted. Have you ever been to Saudi?


Horus




EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19227 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2301 times:

It is extremely difficult for an independent traveller to obtain a tourist visa to enter and travel within Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, one is limited to going on an organised tour, which certainly does not appeal to me. It is a shame, for a backpacking trip to Saudi Arabia would be very good (off again to Yemen, hopefully for a month, next summer).


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineAtcrick From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 772 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2266 times:
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Everytime SV comes into IAD, the ground service personnel open every single door and emergency exit on the aircraft. The rumor is that the plane stinks so bad that they need to air it out after a long flight. I find that really hard to believe but they are the only airline that they open every exit on the remote parking pad. Any insight?




natch!!
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2240 times:

again, there is a distorted negative misconception about the arab world, they are not dirtier than any other person that occupies this globe, there are clean ones and dirty ones. I grew up in Saudi for 13 years. They are very kind to foreigners, in fact during the Gulf War they were sending out police and aids to foreign embassies as well as residences and schools to calm people and to help out with any evacuation plans.

A rich country doesn't need to worry about adding or taking away one flight to NCE nor adding or taking away an olive in the in flight meal which in turn saves 5,000$ for example every year. Saudia has a lot of widebodies for show, and it wouldn't matter if they dominated a certain market, because they will receive fundings. They are an airline that caters majorly for the needs of their own people.

while they may be more conservative than other countries and visas may be hard to tour and all, they are still a good people and we may never get the peaking aviation performance as other airlines from Saudia, but it's good to have airlines that participate all over the spectrum.

I would like to see Saudia with a special paint job though on one of their T7s.



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineAtcrick From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 772 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2200 times:
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Pilotaydin,

Good post. Well said. There are good people, bad people, clean people and dirty people anywhere on the globe where there is more than 1 person.




natch!!
User currently offlineHz747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2198 times:
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Does the Saudi government even issue a transit visa? The way the Jeddah airport is setup it would be nuts to even try a transit point there. There are several issues that would have to be addressed. One, a lot of transit points look to extended layovers to pick up some tourismo dollars, and secondly, Saudia Arabia's government would have to relax its immigration and customs laws which is not likely.

They can be the transit point for Muslim travelers from Europe to South/East Asia and vice versa.

The last thing Saudia Arabia wants is its airports full of shorts and tanktop wearing backpackers camping out. They probably would not mind the occasionally well-behaved family of six from Blackpool, UK making their way to Thailand via Jeddah or Riyadh. Once they find an easy way to regulate the two types of travelers they very well may allow it to become a transit point. But don't hold your breath.



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2169 times:

Hi,

I fly with Saudi Arabian every month since begin of August 2004, between Switzerland and southern India and vice versa. On November 26-27 I flew GVA-JED-RUH and RUH-MAA(Chennai or Madras). To my great satisfaction they are using now a 777-200 between Saudi Arabia and Chennai(Madras), just like between Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.

I am very satisfied with the planes, the service, and the nice experiences I am doing evrytime with the FAs, even once with the Captain of a 747 who was stretching his legs on the upper deck in guest class.

I am satisfied too with the way I am treated in the airports of JED and RUH, during my transits, and in GVA or MAA during my departures.

I have joined now Alfursan miles program, and as a new member I am already allowed to a 40 Kg luggage.

For me its a perfect, friendly and cheap way to fly between Switzerland and southern India, as I have to live alternately one month in Switzerland and one month in India for family and professional reasons.

Of course there is no alcohol on board and you are not allowed to transit in Saudi Arabia with alcohol in your hand luggage ( it will be destroyed ). But there is more in life than alcohol.

I have already done a flight trip with Saudi Airlines and will do one again future and will not miss to include photos for you full satisfaction.

In conclusion I am happy to tell that for me Saudi Airlines has become a Major Operator between Europe and Asia.

All the best and Cheers. Kilavoud.




User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2152 times:

Atcrick

I heard that the PIA flights are worse than what you describe. I was told by someone in catering at MAN that the caterers and cleaners go on there in chemical suits because of the smell.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?



User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2131 times:

Atcrick, what you described is common practice in many places and not because the aircraft 'stinks'. At MEX during the summer most aircraft open all their doors to keep the cabin cool (though they do fill up with pollutants). At LHR you can see SA and CX aircraft parked up near the cargo hangers with all their doors open while they wait for evening departures to JNB and HKG respectively. I think its hust to 'freshen up' the air in cabin. Remember the a/c systems on aircraft just pump out 'recycled' air.

BigOrange, lol...I can assure you staff don't wear chemial suites to enter PIA. When I worked at LHR, we were simply issued with gloves and breathing masks when entering AI, PK or BG aircraft but that was optional and most didn't use them. I do however remember the strong stench of mangoes and vegetables when PK used their B742 Combis to LHR.

Horus




EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2087 times:

Atcrick: thanks! It is an amazing country, if you are into photography, then i hope you can go there one day into the Empty Quarter or the Sarawat moutains outside of Riyadh and the NE. The sand dunes change regularly and leave amazing patterns, the sand is not yellow as we know from cartoons and conceptions, the desert sand is a rich red/brown with a gold tint, absolutely amazing. If you have seen the movie hidalgo, you will know what im talking about.

Kila: What as the equipment that was used before the T7 enroute to India? 747-300? How long have you been flying Saudia? Ever get a chance to fly one of their Tristars?! Awesome experience

Hz737: I agree with you about the tank tops. When we used to come in, they would sometimes tell my sister to put on her abaya, while we waited to clear passport control in RUH. She would normally wear short sleeved shirt, but was very young. one time i was told off for wearing shorts, thank god i was young. Must respect the customs and cultures of a nation, freedom shouldn't mean permission to offend  Smile



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineD950 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2066 times:

Why in the world would the MD90's have trouble in the "hot and high" airports?? This is their strong point!!


Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2047 times:

Pilotaydin

Both 747-100 and 747-300.

I have had the chance to overfly with SV the big sand desert (650'000 square kilometers of pure sand ) called Empty Quarter or Al Rub Al-Khali. An unforgettable experience !!! especially the zone with the many salt lakes between the long and high dunes. It's not water but looks like water from 11000 m. But most of the time they fly more in the north over Dubai and Bahrein.

I fly with Saudi every month since begin of August 2004 from Geneva to Chennai (Madras) or vice-versa. My last flight was GVA-JED-RUH-MAA on November 26-27 and my next flight BOM-RUH-JED-GVA on December 23-24.

Cheers. Kilavoud.


User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2041 times:

D950, it was reported in AW and FI. They stated SV have some problems with their fleet of 29 MD-90s due to 1) their performance at hot and high airports 2) they are too big/heavy to operate at some of the smaller domestic and regional airports. AW continued by stating that "there have been some speculation that the airline was looking to change to a smaller regional airliner of between 70 and 95 seats"

Horus




EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2030 times:

Horus: I think Saudia Should add some 737-800 s to their fleet. I do miss the 737-200s on that airline  Smile

Kila: Enjoy your flights over the peninsula, i would give a lot to do that. Although I do remember the sad accident over India with the Saudi 747  Sad hope it never happens again.



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineD950 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2028 times:

If they decide to dump the 90's they will have some trouble, as their cockpit is totally different than any other MD90 around. Maybe they could package them to NW to replace the you know whats!! They have a similar cockpit to the 717 (hint, hint)


Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
User currently offlineHz747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2022 times:
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Bad examples, but the runs I have done on the MD-90s JED-YNB and back were all fine. Are they having problems in airports like Abha and Ta'if? By the way, I know this is an airliners forum, but one of the best drives in the world is going up the hill to Ta'if from Jeddah!

Also, as others have mentioned wonderful sites to visit/photograph:

1. Christian ruins outside of Nejran
2. Wadi Al-turbah
3. The Corniche in Jeddah
4. Ancient ruins of Madain Salah(sp?), outside Al-Ulah
5. The Hijaz Railway ruins

Among many others...



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2018 times:

NW replace you know whats?! but then where will we see trails of black smoke coming off behind a T-Tail?!  Smile

I think Saudia has enough money to buy a boeing plant, so training for different cockpits would be pocket change for the airline  Smile



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2011 times:

D950, SV have been eyeing up Iran to sell their MD-90s. This has been rumoured after the Supreme Economic Council of Iran approved the purchase of further MD-90s.


Pilotaydin, B737NGs would be ideal (so would the A320s) but I doubt we'll see this happen anytime soon.

...their c/s would look pretty good on a B73NG though...


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Horus





EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineD950 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

Horus, thanks for the info, I thought they were coming from China Southern/Northern/Eastern/......


Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1948 times:

D950, that is true the initial reports suggested they were coming from China but as with everything in Iran they might change their mind and go with the Saudi MD-90s depending on price (and politics).

Another scenario (which I read in Homa magazine) was that the Chinese MD-90s will go to Iran Air Tours, and if they decide to go for the Saudi MD-90s they would go to mainline Iran Air and Kish Air. But you also have to bear in mind that Iran has also ordered 15 Tu-204s from Sirroco Aerospace (and Tupolev) so their future plans are alittle incoherent at the moment.

Horus




EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineD950 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1869 times:

Horus,I hope it falls through, these are real intricate birds, and as you say very charitably, things are a "little" incoherent there.

Frank



Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
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