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Saudi Arabian 747-400  
User currently offlineWoody From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 174 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4693 times:

Why do the Saudi Arabian Airlines 747-400's have more First Class seats than Business Class seats? I was just looking around their site and I noticed that the 747-400 has 36 F seats and 32 J seats. Any info would be appreciated.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4628 times:

All those Saudi oil shieks and royal princes take a lot of space...

A very large part of Saudia's fleet is used for by the Royal family (there are hundreds of princes) as private jets. Last year I watched a Saudi prince come in to Geneva for a 2 day visit, and his entourage consisted of two 747s, an MD-11, a 727 and a 737.

Saudia is currently being looked at for privatization (I think KPMG is handling it), and this is one of the major hurdles they have to face up to before anybody will buy it.


User currently offlineTEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

Are Saudi Arabian 747-400 aircraft powered by GE CF6s or RR RB211s?

User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4584 times:

Saudi 747-300s have Rolls engines, and -400s all have the GEs.


User currently offlineR347216 From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4565 times:

Cfalk is correct. I used to be a flight attendant for Saudia and the demand for first class seats is very high. It does have a lot to do with the economics and the wealth of the country, not to mention the amount of business travellers coming in and out of the country. Saudia was a fabulous airline to work for then and I am sure it is now. Their on board service in all classes must be ranked with the other superior services(although there is no alcohol allowed). We used to have a carvery chef on board the VIP flights. Some VIP flights would demand a 747-400 with a full crew of 17 f/a's for only 20 passengers. The Saudis are also wonderful people, very hospitable. One I was on a flight and a Princess took of her gold bracelet and handed it to me, she was giving it to me as a gift. I refused (we are not allowed to accept gifts) but she insisted and a Saudi told me that if I refused it, she would view it as an insult. Needless to say, I still have the bracelet today! The regular scheduled flights were also a pleausre to work on too! The first class section of the aircraft itself was sheer luxury, not overlooking a thing for passenger comfort. Back then I flew on 747-400, 368, SP ( New York and Singapore flights), Airbus and the L1011. The crews were all mixed nationality and you would find yourself working with people from India, England, Morocco, Australia, ect. Saudia also had a New York base, Bangkok base, Basrcelona, Cassablanca, Karachi, Delhi, and lots of other bases. Crewmembers could apply for outside bases after 6 months on line. I don't know if it is the same now. I was based in Jeddah and I loved it. People ask me what it was like and it was amazing, lots to do. We went to parties all the time and we would go swimming and diving in the Red Sea. Well, I could go on forever about my 2 and a half years working there, but I'll just say I have a lot of respect for Saudia as an airline and lots of photographs and memories.

User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2664 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4538 times:

Interesting note about Saudi F/A's above. I notice that you are male. What about female F/A's? Do Saudia hire foreign female flight attendants? If so, what was the general consensus about life in Saudi Arabia, from a Western female perspective? Very telling that the web site of the airline pictures the "harem girl" F/A always below the male, indeed almost kneeling before him.
I'd almost argue that the company is quasi "private" right now, since as you mentioned the royalty uses the airfleet for their own purposes (tis a Kingdom ).

User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4533 times:


SV are generally known to give fairly poor service (at least that is the consensus amongst expatriates here in Saudi). I have only flown them once though (RUH-JED) and thus I will refrain from passing too much judgement.

We flew the 777, and the seats were very nice and comfortable (Economy). There were a number of male FA's, as well as female FA's. As far as I could tell, most of them were from the Gulf, or Malay.

Both flights were delayed, although by a max of 30mins, which isn't too bad in my books.

A lot of the flightcrew tend to be British, although a 777 Captain's average salary in only GBP69k, which isn't great, but tax-free; thus the majority are working over at Emirates.

I personally find Saudi a GREAT place to live. I love the weather, I love the desert scenery, I love my compound, and most of all I love the Turkish retaurants in downtown Riyadh!!

There are some fairly nice beaches along the coast near Dharan, and we often drive over to Bahrain when we are down there (Dharan) for a long w/e.

As far as high-yield travel is concerned, yes there is a LOT. King Khaled has it's own Royal Terminal, and the Airport itself is the largest in terms of land area.

Prince Abdullah uses his own 747SP I believe (in old SV colours), and there are numerous Gulfstream's on the apron at RUH. King Fahd is hardly ever in Saudi, I believe he has been ill for some time.

As some of you may know, BA operates specially configured 777's into Riyadh. These consist of larger F and J class cabins, with a smaller proportion of Y class seats.

You may or may not be interested, but this is where I live in Saudi:


(press cancel if a download box appears)

User currently offlineR347216 From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4508 times:

Hi Johnboy,
Actually, I r347216 is my fathers forum name. I am his daughter, I am still flying today. Therefore, I am a female, also, I consider myself a fairly attractive, slim blue eyed blonde. (incounsequential, but it applies to blonde-blue eyed women in the Kingdom. ) I should visit Saudia new web-site, becuase to the best of my knowledge the F/a's are not depicted as harem girls. If so, it has changed. I think Gulf Air does have the Harem-type uniform. Our uniforms were designed by Karl Lagerfeld and they were beautiful suits, with pillbox hats. The summer uniform consisted of a printed dress. Anyway, from a female perspective, yes, it was different but not like I thought it would be. We lived in "Saudia City". We had 4 ladies per townhouse, own rooms. 24 hr room service, maid service, gym, pool, grocery store ect. Families of both sexes also lived on the compound. It was huge. We were allowed out of the compound and I must confess we went to some fabulous parties with both Arabs and Western people in attendance. I confess I drank more champagne there than anywhere else. I never ever coverd my hair, but, I did wear the traditional haibai when I went out. Not that I didn't have a mini skirt and heels under it because there were times that I did!! We only wore haibai to and from where we were going and we took them off when we got to where ever or whatever function we were at. We would shop for hours in the souk in Jeddah - the deals were amazing. As long as you respect the people - they respect you! I met Saudi families that I still keep in touch with. I have made friends all over the world that I met in Jeddah. It is a mystical, fabulously clean, country and from a modern woman's perspective - I had a ball! I kept my dignity and was always treated with the utmost respect. Cheers! Hope this gives you an idea of how it is there.

User currently offlineJiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4483 times:

I like SV's new colour on their 747, 772, M11...etc

BTW, I think I read a report about Saudia has its first female pilot. Is this true or not?

User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2664 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4457 times:

Dear Daughter of R317246,
I greatly appreciate your response. Sounds like you had a fabulous time! I always wonder how Western females view a strict Islamic society (rules on clothing, not able to drive if female, etc.). As a nurse, I had several opportunities to work in Saudi Arabia, but declined. As a gay male I thought it best not to go. Chastity isn't my bag, and I love my naughty bits too much to have them separated from the rest of my body! Thanks for your insights!


User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4457 times:

SV only hire foreign female crew, the male crew are Saudis, Ive heard tales of some of the better looking girls having to "Please" the recruitment officers to get the job, many refused and were not hired, I heard this from authentic sources i.e the stewardesses themselves, things may have changed now but thats how it was in the 70s and 80s Smile

.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineR347216 From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

Hi Airmale,
Yes the male crew are Saudis, but not all Saudis. As for the goings on....if it is true, I never saw it, not that I doubt it, because it goes on all over the world! Cheers

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4431 times:

R347216 when did SV get their new conservative uniforms, I really admired their cool pant suits and the Pink floral dresses with Berets from the 80's sad they went Smile

.....up there with the best!
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