Bruspotter
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Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:58 am

I was just wondering if BA had ever served Saudi Arabia or if there were any plans to do so in the future. I know the closest they get at the moment is Bahrain.Thanks.
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CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:00 am

Yes they did - for decades. They only stopped about a year or so ago due to security concerns IINM. BMI fly there instead now.
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wrighbrothers
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:07 am

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 1):

That's correct, and now BMI are having all sorts of problems

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mhodgson
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:10 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 2):
and now BMI are having all sorts of problems

With security, or with loads and yields?
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pavlin
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:14 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 2):

That's correct, and now BMI are having all sorts of problems

Somehow it doesn't surprise me. It i hard to do business with them

Do they make profit?
 
Humberside
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:04 am

bmi are doing well to Saudi and hope to add Damman (spelling???) soon
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scbriml
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting BRUspotter (Thread starter):
I was just wondering if BA had ever served Saudi Arabia

I flew to Riyadh (RUH) a couple of times on BA not that long ago.

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Horus
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:44 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 2):
That's correct, and now BMI are having all sorts of problems

BD's flights to JED and RUH are doing much better than expected. In fact if it weren't for the bilateral constraints, the airline would have more flights to KSA. They plan to launch flights to DMM next year as well as more flights in the region.

Just out of curiosity what's you source for that information?


Edit: BA had 4x weekly flights to JED (BA133/132) and 3x weekly to RUH (BA263/262). All flights were with the B777.


Horus

[Edited 2006-07-13 00:49:03]
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wrighbrothers
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:50 pm

Quoting Horus (Reply 7):
Just out of curiosity what's you source for that information?

I got that from various sites i've looked at, where it loooked like they were having problems with the crews, becasue they didn't want to go, and so would diliberatly call in sick, atleast that's what I thought.
The women have to wear head dress, they are only allowed to go to the pool at certain times, when men aren't there, and I think that they have to walk behind the males, wouldn't be my idea of fun.

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BCAL
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:48 am

BA had been the designated UK flag carrier to Jeddah and Dhahran until 1983 when a review of UK Civil Aviation led to an exchange of routes between BA and the independent British Caledonian. BA withdrew from Jeddah and Dhahran. The UK Government, with the agreement of the Saudi authorities, then designated British Caledonian as the British carrier in place of BA on these routes. BCal also negotiated with the Saudi Authorities to obtain the right for it to serve Riyadh.

For its part, BCal withdrew from its South American routes and surrendered its licences to Denver and Morocco. In addition, BCal did not oppose BA's licences applications to serve Orlando and Tampa in the USA.

BCal operated 4 x weekly DC10 services to Dhahran, 4 x weekly DC10 services to Jeddah and 2 x weekly to Riyadh. All services were operated to/from LGW, as BCal was never granted permission to operate to/from LHR. Despite the odds and restrictions, the routes were very profitable for BCal and enjoyed good yields, particular as those connected with the oil industry could fly between Texas (Houston and DFW) to Saudi Arabia direct with BCal via LGW.

In December 1987 after BA took over BCal, the Saudi Arabian routes reverted to BA who relocated them to LHR.

Interestingly, BA did try to undermine BCal's licences and reputation before they started services to Saudi Arabia. BA's sales manager in Jeddah had printed a letter to be handed to BA passengers on arrival in Saudi Arabia. It concluded with the sentence: 'British Airways, the leading flag carrier, would be replaced by a secondary airline on these important routes and thereby risk diminution of Britain's prestige.' This did not go down well with the Saudis and made BCal's application more difficult.
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mhodgson
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:57 am

Wasn't Concorde's first scheduled destination BAH?
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N1120A
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:59 am

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 10):
Wasn't Concorde's first scheduled destination BAH?

Bahrain isn't in Saudi Arabia
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Boeing747_600
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:20 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 8):
The women have to wear head dress, they are only allowed to go to the pool at certain times, when men aren't there, and I think that they have to walk behind the males, wouldn't be my idea of fun.

I

Anyway, here's a link to a mirror article confirming much of what you wrote:

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/t...ine=british-madland-name_page.html

[Edited 2006-07-14 00:27:00]
 
hz747300
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 8):
women

Actually, that's not being completely accurate. The country of Saudi Arabia is culturally split from the two coasts and the central highlands. A woman in Jeddah and/or Daharan/Damman will typically only have to wear the abaya (black cloak) and not the head dress. This is true even for Saudi women, especially in Jeddah, where I lived. That does not mean that you will not see women with the headdress, you certainly will. The Mutawwa is more lenient in those parts. In Riyadh, you will see the women dressed a lot more conservatively. Those generalisations apply to Western women as well. The difference is that Western women will not walk behind their man.

So BA crews in Jeddah the women could go shopping in some of the finest Western style shopping malls with a hotel supplied driver, but at the time that BA dropped their flights security was an issue, and the BA flights are rarely full on the 777. I thought that they would have tried with 763 or 757, certainly, either or both would have been sufficient for the passengers--not sure about the cargo.
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bmiexpat
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:16 am

Quoting Boeing747_600 (Reply 12):
Anyway, here's a link to a mirror article confirming much of what you wrote:

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/t....html

I would take much of what is written in The Mirror with a pinch of salt. All the crew I have spoken to are happy enough to operate to KSA.
 
Boeing747_600
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:56 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 14):
I would take much of what is written in The Mirror with a pinch of salt. All the crew I have spoken to are happy enough to operate to KSA.

Your point about taking the Mirror with the proverbial pinch of salt is quite apropos in general.

But I would also tend to be somewhat sceptical of your contention that BMI crew in general are "happy enough to operate to KSA". Given a hypothetical choice - "Attention. Flight crew! Hands up those who'd like to volunteer for LHR-RUH .... OK .... Now hands up, those for LHR-ARN", - I'd like to see just how many hands go up at first!

Moreover, I found nothing in the Mirror article that suggests anything out of the ordinary. In fact it quite accurately mirrors - pun intended  Smile - other well documented reports of Wahhabi social restrictions in the KSA.
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:10 am

I agree that some crew may find the social restrictions placed on women in KSA disagreeable, however the compound in which the crew stay in RUH is like a different country, all westerners, fantastic villas, two pools, horse riding, golf courses, bowling alley, DVD rentals, restaurant etc.... I stayed there for three weeks myself.

It is a pain that you can't come and go as you please, but the security manager on the ground in RUH goes out of his way to take the crew out of the compound to the mall (quite amazing shopping by the way!) or to the supermarket when he can.

If their biggest worry is not being able to take a bible, wear a St Christopher cross or take a teddy bear on their trip, then they don't have much to worry about. And having to walk a few paces behind the male crew members on the short walk from the aircraft to the crew bus, big deal.
 
Boeing747_600
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 16):
If their biggest worry is not being able to take a bible, wear a St Christopher cross or take a teddy bear on their trip, then they don't have much to worry about. And having to walk a few paces behind the male crew members on the short walk from the aircraft to the crew bus, big deal.

I agree that in the cosmic scheme of things, these restrictions are perhaps trivial, but its just the rank unseemliness of it all ...
 
Horus
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:21 am

Wrighbrothers, though I appreciate the initial teething problems the airline had with crew flying to a conservative country, the media (such as the sensationalist tabloid newspaper, The Mirror) can exaggerate the problems out of proportion. As Bmiexpat stated the RUH compound is an excellent facility and the airline gets positive feedback from its crew regarding the accommodation and related facility. The compound at JED is not as good as the RUH one but still of a high standard. The main issue at JED is that crew have to share 3 bedroom fully-fitted villas rather than get their own private rooms. In fact from what I hear more crew prefer and opt for RUH/JED then BOM due to the better facilities and longer layovers.


Horus
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Boeing747_600
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RE: Did BA Ever Fly Into Saudi? Will They Ever?

Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:47 am

Quoting Horus (Reply 18):
In fact from what I hear more crew prefer and opt for RUH/JED then BOM due to the better facilities and longer layovers

Well ... I'll have to concede that from you're probably right. I guess I was looking at it from a somewhat personal point of view. At the risk of making a somewhat broad generalisation, most crew (at least cabin crew) are likely to be enamoured by the more cosmetic aspects of a layover like Jacuzzis, pillow mints, shopping for perfumes etc, than taking in the excitement and energy of a city with centuries of history. In the latter regard, RUH and JED with all their 5 star facilities, couldn't hold a candle to BOM.

But like I said, you're probably right in so far as you're discussing it from the perspective of BMI crew, who would probably be willing to suspend a few civic liberties for a trip to a glitzy shopping mall.