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dfwjim1
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Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:37 am

I was checking out information on Saudia using Wikipedia and I am curious as to why Saudia has not developed into the
type of carrier that EK and QR has become. Granted Saudia has a large fleet and serves quite a few destinations but it seems
like they do not have the worldwide presence that EK and QR have become known for. Looking at Saudia's route map and
destinations I am surprised that they do not serve South America, have only limited service to North America (YYZ, LAX
and JFK) and do not serve Atlanta as Saudia is part of Skyteam.

Any thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:44 am

Very different business model.

SV is not built around the 6th freedom game, but first and foremost about serving traffic to/from Saudi Arabia along with large volumes of domestic ops.

Also Saudi Arabia as a much larger nation geographically and has multiple large markets, so the nation never developed as single airport hub and these airports are geared to serve inbound/outbound local traffic not primarily transit flow as the gulf nations have built.
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Viscount724
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:48 am

And dry carriers (no alcohol served) have never had any success in becoming significant network carriers. They all largely cater to their own O&D traffic, and when they are able to sell connections via their hubs, it's usually at heavily discounted fares.
 
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mercure1
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:57 am

As others have said airline was designed to cater to large Saudi home market, so its not an invention to mostly carry connection passengers around the world.

SV might not be that flashy compared to Gulf players, but its not a small airline by any means. Something like 140 aircraft and 90 destinations. And unlike the ME3, Saudi Arabia is a nation with lots of domestic airports to service.
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edmountain
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:14 am

Saudia are too hard-core Islamic to be able to really drum up connecting trafiic.
 
wzafar
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:23 am

Quoting edmountain (Reply 4):

To be honest I don't think they want to be either so they don't try very hard. It's a government owned and run company and doesn't care about making money. It's primary purpose is to serve Saudi Arabia itself, even if that means making no money at all  
 
hz747300
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:41 am

Yes, it's a different model altogether. Along with being able to operate a domestic operation, I think they realise that they are going to struggle to win the connecting traffic from the ME3+TK. But they fill a niche, and are much better run nowadays than in the 70's and 80's when my parents worked for them. Back then I recall many times flying a near empty 747 from Jeddah to many places unless it was a school holiday.

The new terminal JED should be pretty cool and could help if they were to pursue the transit market. Just remember, it's a dry airline and a dry country, and ALL PDAs are not permitted, and if you are female cover up all but your face and hair, and you'll be just fine. I even was made to change into pants from shorts in the Yanbu airport!
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LAXintl
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:47 am

Quoting wzafar (Reply 5):
It's a government owned and run company and doesn't care about making money. It's primary purpose is to serve Saudi Arabia itself, even if that means making no money at all

For the record SV and its subsidiaries are in the process of being privatized.

So far Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries, Saudi Ground Services and Saudi Airlines Catering have all turned to be profitable ventures according to their prospectus documents.
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777way
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:52 am

Kuwait Airways could be but even they arent interested.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):

I would like someone to prove that wrong, I hope SV or KU try to hiring someone who can turn them around.

Quoting edmountain (Reply 4):

No its not at all hard core Islamic, it was a very normal airline to me when I flew with them, good western IFE too, all that was needed was fashionable uniforms for the women crew with no head gear.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:12 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 8):
Quoting edmountain (Reply 4):


No its not at all hard core Islamic, it was a very normal airline to me when I flew with them, good western IFE too, all that was needed was fashionable uniforms for the women crew with no head gear.

Prayers before takeoff may make many non-Muslim passengers uncomfortable.

Saudia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilS7J4yhJvo

Air Arabia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP9OwdcDaPM

SV and several other carriers from Muslim countries also have on-board prayer rooms, at least on widebodies.

Related thread, 12 years old.
How Do Muslim Passengers Pray In Flight? (by Targowski Aug 31 2003 in Civil Aviation)
 
777way
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:21 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):

Prayers before takeoff may make many non-Muslim passengers uncomfortable.

Huh? thats routine on every muslim airline, EK, EY and QE as well as TK do it too, I bet MH and GA as well.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
SV and several other carriers from Muslim countries also have on-board prayer rooms, at least on widebodies.

Related thread, 12 years old.
How Do Muslim Passengers Pray In Flight? (by Targowski Aug 31 2003 in Civil Aviation)

Wtong, only Iran Air is the other one, even private airlines in Saudi and Iran dont, nor does Royal Brunei despite following their ideology.
 
wzafar
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:21 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):

There are prayers before take off on QR and EY as well.
 
N1120A
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:23 am

SV just doesn't offer the product that EK/EY/QR do.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
And dry carriers (no alcohol served) have never had any success in becoming significant network carriers. They all largely cater to their own O&D traffic, and when they are able to sell connections via their hubs, it's usually at heavily discounted fares.

MS seems to do ok at the hub game.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
Prayers before takeoff may make many non-Muslim passengers uncomfortable.

QR has an on-board prayer before flight.
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:29 am

Quoting wzafar (Reply 11):
There are prayers before take off on QR and EY as well.

I suspect EK do it too - have only had one flight on them, being the AKL-BNE leg of EK435 on 1 January 2011. Before the safety demo on the the IFE screens, there was something over the PA system in Arabic, which I still assume is a prayer of some description. Can anyone confirm? Did make me feel uncomfortable having it preflight, probably because of some my quirks and sexual orientation, etc. But nowadays, studying full time to get into aviation, the college where I am has a number of Saudi students, no pressure from them for this infidel to convert (thank goodness), but the preflight prayer or announcement in Arabic did fairly much put me off of flying EK or other ME airline.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:33 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 8):
No its not at all hard core Islamic, it was a very normal airline to me when I flew with them, good western IFE too, all that was needed was fashionable uniforms for the women crew with no head gear.

Notwithstanding the censored movies, the prayer recitations, and the prohibition of alcohol, their treatment of women on its own makes them hard-core Islamic when compared to the rest of the world. Certainly that is enough to deter a significant amount of connecting traffic.
 
777way
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:37 am

Dont change the story, you said the airline, as for censorship, I know EK does it too.
 
777way
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:45 am

Quoting Bluebird191 (Reply 13):
Before the safety demo on the the IFE screens, there was something over the PA system in Arabic, which I still assume is a prayer of some description. Can anyone confirm? Did make me feel uncomfortable

How did you differentiate between the announcement and prayer? announcement in Arabic should have worked on you in same manner, they announce all the stuff which is later said in english.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:48 am

What western woman would want FF miles on Saudia? I haven't met many road warriors where the female wasn't appeased with FF award vacations. If a connection is missed, Saudia isn't a place with easy access to/from shopping or other activities catering to Western women

It isn't a different business model by choice. Women, gays, and unmarried couples are not catered to. So naturally those customers go elsewhere.

I know women who love the shopping in Doha or Dubai. I couldn't imagine them having their level of expected experience in Saudi... Some the woman is the road warrior, but in every case the women drive FF plan selection.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):

Booze is also a major issue for sales. EK is known for certain flights being drunk dry. Good or bad, those customers want a drink. I couldn't imagine serving Europe to their ex-colonies dry.

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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:53 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 10):
I bet MH and GA as well.

Not officially for MH, however the flight crew can at their discretion recite a prayer. But this is very new, only happening post MH370/MH17 & so I've not encountered it.
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777way
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:12 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 17):

Fact remains SV can become an airline like EK and QR and EY even without the booze and with the censored IFE and the not so conservative uniforms, they can have world class services and airports, nothing is stopping them except lack of vision and motivation, bet they they can poach the top people from industry with better offerings, passionate ones would love to make SV something great just for the challenge.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:26 am

@ Bluebird191
I don't ever recall prayers being said on EK flights between Australia and Europe on the several instances that I have flown with them.

Arabic announcements are made but these appear to be the normal announcements about preparing for take-off, asking passengers to watch the safety video. The announcement is normally repeated in English. After take off a further announcement is made saying how many countries the crew come from and how many languages they speak. On landing another announcement in Arabic along the lines of welcome to ... temperature... connecting passengers ... our associate hotel is ... if you need assistance. Shukran.
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Deltabravo1123
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:43 am

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
only limited service to North America (YYZ, LAX and JFK)

SV serves IAD as well.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:05 am

There are no prayers on EK.
 
klwright69
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:16 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 8):

No its not at all hard core Islamic, it was a very normal airline to me when I flew with them, good western IFE too, all that was needed was fashionable uniforms for the women crew with no head gear.

After having lived in Saudi for some time, I have flown this airline many, many times and can speak from experience both domestically and internationally.. As usual people are commenting who have likely never even flown them. How many of you have actually flown them? Show of hands please? And.... How many of you have been to Saudi Arabia? Those who haven't then proceed to lecture those of us who actually know the country and the airline. No, it's not hardcore Islamic, good grief. It's a normal company that has to cater to their market. Really. Speaking of headgear, do QR female flight attendants wear hats? Or "headgear? Yes, they do also.

By the way, Saudi FA's have new uniforms. I think they changed around 2 or 3 years ago. The new one is slightly better. Yeah it's still not that stylish, it's still stodgy and conservative. Male FA's have to be Saudi Nationals while female FA's are not allowed to be Saudi Nationals but foreigners. Female SV flight attendants come from a lot of the same countries as QR, EK, and EY. They recruit a lot in the Philippines for example.

There isn't a lot I can add. Again, people keep confusing the country with the airline. They are not the same. Any kind of thread on SV collapses into a brawl over politics, religion, gays, women, which are not terribly relevant to the AIRLINE.

Catering on Saudia flights to the USA is not that bad actually, the food can be pretty good. But from SIN to RUH nonstop I had probably one of the worst in flight meals in my life.

It is funny watching in flight movies on Saudia. Of course there is no censorship regarding violent movies. I think I watched something like Universal Soldier 4 on SV one time actually. No, it's not just Koran readings on cinema as some in a.net world likely believe. But there always some distortion of too much flesh showing on females on in flight movies. It is very humorous to see.

I think it has been clearly been beaten to death the point that all airlines from islamic countries have preflight prayers.

I have met people connecting on SV in RUH or JED, but Saudi Arabia is a huge country and the airline mostly caters to the market. And the no alcohol is a big factor on why it isn't like the ME3 obviously.

DL and SV are in Skyteam. But they don't seem to work together much regarding the US market. Sky Team itineraries into the domestic US market are almost always on AF/DL, I never see routings on DL and SV together to places like DEN, ATL, IAH, SEA, etc etc.. I do get Sky Miles when flying SV however. That seems to be the extent of their relationship. There is a reason SV only goes to IAD, LAX, and JFK in the USA. They are catering to the market that has Saudi Arabia as a final destination for the most part. Some transit pax take them, but not a large number of them. SV is almost like a silent partner for DL in Skyteam. SV wants a date to the dance, and DL doesn't want to be seen dancing with them, but there is something in it for them.

They are not a bad airline most of the time. However during irregular ops they are one of the worst airlines imaginable, at least if you are traveling inside the country. I had the misfortune. So all isn't roses with them. Don't get me started on this point. Saudi people love to complain about them also.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:36 am

Until relatively recently, Saudia had a problem with various low-ranking Princes and other royals turning up at last minute and demanding many seats in premium cabins for them, their families and their entourages. Being royals, such demands were sadly often met. Bit difficult to run an airline profitibly under such conditions.

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 20):
I don't ever recall prayers being said on EK flights between Australia and Europe on the several instances that I have flown with them.

Nor do I. Maybe it was in the arabic version of the safety video?
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IndianicWorld
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:05 am

What I found interesting was that Saudia seemed to advertise quite heavily around LAX about their "only non-stops to Saudi Arabia". How big is the market between LAX and Saudi Arabia?

They seem to operate daily 77W's which seems a lot of capacity for the market, especially without an attractive connection network like a EK/QR/EY can offer.
 
Bluebird191
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:07 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 16):
How did you differentiate between the announcement and prayer? announcement in Arabic should have worked on you in same manner, they announce all the stuff which is later said in english.

Part of the Arabic announcement was the safety demo, and another part of it appeared to be a prayer. Don't get me wrong - I'm not anti-Islam or anti-religion. Some of my closest friends over time have been religious, one lady in particular is a muslim, just I have no desire to be religious myself. I just choose to direct my airfares to other airlines when I fly.

I can remember picking up some common Arabic phrases knowing they are associated with prayers, hence why part of the language announcement was a prayer, the rest was the safety demo, which was repeated in English.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:27 am

Saudi Arabia has a large (both geographically and in population) market so Saudia is to serve that local market (which in the Emirates or Qatar did not exist until very recently).

Also Saudia has two hubs for political reasons. Saudia is based in JED but the government is based at RUH. That makes that effectively almost every flight is duplicated in both airports. Moving the long-haul hub to one or another airport would cause rage in the local crowd... Saudi Arabia is not as homogeneous as it seems from the outside.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:57 am

Quoting zkojq (Reply 24):
Nor do I. Maybe it was in the arabic version of the safety video?

Never happened on any EK flights I've taken.
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IndianicWorld
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:15 am

Some seem to confuse the arabic language for a prayer I have found.

I even had a friend say that he wouldn't fly EK because of it, and when I pointed out that I have never heard such a thing being done on one of the flights, he went on to explain what he thought was a prayer. In fact, it wasn't and was just part of the language  
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:05 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 19):
Fact remains SV can become an airline like EK and QR and EY even without the booze and with the censored IFE and the not so conservative uniforms, they can have world class services and airports, nothing is stopping them except lack of vision and motivation, bet they they can poach the top people from industry with better offerings, passionate ones would love to make SV something great just for the challenge.

No one has even touched on this issue regarding SV's possible hub operations. The simple fact is the entire visa process for KSA make it extremely "unfriendly" for any type of hub operation. You need a transit visa for layovers of over 12 hours. Currently, if you enter the KSA on a visa, your passport is retained at the airport. There is no provision for visa on arrival. So, unless there is a fundamental change in the Saudi government, the situation will remain the same. Before anyone tells me those things are easy to change, visit the KSA. I have worked there and spent some time there and things do not change at the same pace they do in other countries. There is a great deal of inertia to any change at all.
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enzo011
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:06 am

The first time I flew EY and heard the prayer before take off I was a little surprised by it. Subsequently it is actually quite soothing to listen to. I don't know exactly what is being said, though I doubt it is asking for doom for the flight. If you are into religion, surely asking for a safe journey for the flight is welcome, whatever the source. If you aren't religious then it is just another announcement in Arabic. No need to get upset by it unless you just like getting upset by things.   
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:32 am

What you hear is not a prayer but a Supplication, big difference.
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enzo011
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:05 am

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 32):
What you hear is not a prayer but a Supplication, big difference.

Isn't supplication just a form of prayer? In any case on EY the safety video states that it is a Travel Prayer from the Holy Qur'an.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:40 am

Keep in mind what the purpose of those carriers are; EK's role is to create a source of revenue when Dubai's deposits of hydrocarbons run dry within the next decade, including feeding the tourist industry.
The purpose of EY is to bring tourists into Abu Dhabi, much the same as they created Yas Marina and brought F1 to the emirate, as well as Ferrari World and the offshots of e.g. Louvre.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has not ambitions at all when it comes to bringing tourists in. In fact, you can't even get a tourist visa for Saudi. Thus, the role of Saudia is vastly different from that of EK, QR and EY and that's why they are not following the same strategy.
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B8887
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:49 am

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
Why Not Like EK And QR?

Although geographically RUH or DMM could replicate the connection heavy business model of EK and QR, many things come up.

1) Saudi Arabia has almost zero non religious tourism.

2)

Quoting edmountain (Reply 14):
Notwithstanding the censored movies, the prayer recitations, and the prohibition of alcohol, their treatment of women on its own makes them hard-core Islamic when compared to the rest of the world. Certainly that is enough to deter a significant amount of connecting traffic.

3) Saudi authorities are probably not willing to create special legislation permitting airports to have an opt-out on these anytime soon.

That's pretty much it.

Regards.

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SOBHI51
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:50 am

Quoting enzo011 (Reply 33):
Isn't supplication just a form of prayer?

No, not really, prayers for Muslims has specific rules you must follow from ablution, facing Mecca etc.... Supplication can be done any time without specific rules.
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enzo011
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:28 am

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 36):
No, not really, prayers for Muslims has specific rules you must follow from ablution, facing Mecca etc.... Supplication can be done any time without specific rules.

Thanks, learn new things every day. Very interesting.
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:07 pm

Quoting 777way (Reply 10):
Huh? thats routine on every muslim airline, EK, EY and QE as well as TK do it too, I bet MH and GA as well.

I have traveled a number of times with TK (not many, 12 flights total, I think) and I have never noticed any prayer or supplication. But then again I don't understand Turkish so what do I know. I've flown AK in Malaysia and I haven't noticed anything either (same caveat with respect to language applies, though).
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:18 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
Any thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

For the same exact reason that MH is not like SQ for example. They are completely different countries, with completely different economies, and above all the political establishment in each country has a completely different vision for the country.
I forgot to add that it's really unfair to EK to say QR is similar. QR is nothing like EK. A quick look at their respective fleets should make that obvious. QR and EY are to EK what MH and TG were to SQ a couple of decades ago. Not even in the same league.

[Edited 2015-09-03 06:02:06]
 
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:19 pm

MS has a very load and intrusive prayer that startled me because it was loud and sounded like a call to mosque.
I would fly Saudia on a 5th freedom route, but not to Saudi Arabia. It's also SkyTeam which is the one alliance I don't have Gold membership not high expectations from any members.
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:42 pm

Quoting TheFlyingDisk (Reply 18):
Not officially for MH, however the flight crew can at their discretion recite a prayer. But this is very new, only happening post MH370/MH17 & so I've not encountered it.

Incorrect - MH has the prayer shown during the safety video.
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:45 pm

Quoting mmo (Reply 30):
No one has even touched on this issue regarding SV's possible hub operations. The simple fact is the entire visa process for KSA make it extremely "unfriendly" for any type of hub operation. You need a transit visa for layovers of over 12 hours. Currently, if you enter the KSA on a visa, your passport is retained at the airport. There is no provision for visa on arrival. So, unless there is a fundamental change in the Saudi government, the situation will remain the same. Before anyone tells me those things are easy to change, visit the KSA. I have worked there and spent some time there and things do not change at the same pace they do in other countries. There is a great deal of inertia to any change at all.

Don't know why this hasn't been touched on more. Has anyone here tried to get a visa, without the assistance of an employer or school, to visit Saudi Arabia? Based on people I know who have done it is exceedingly inconvenient if one is not Muslim. A roommate of mine wanted to visit a college friend there and decided to apply for a visa. Fortunately, at that point, we lived about five blocks from the Saudi embassy in the West End of D.C. He eventually got the visa but it took three trips to the Embassy and a lot of waiting around. I can only imagine how long/expensive it would have been if he was not able to just walk over the embassy multiple times. His experience is in line with other trip reports I have read online.

Ignoring all the other issues, I do not see how you can be profitable airline if your government appears to actively be discouraging both tourism and even stop overs of over 12 hours. It is not impossible to get a visa but it is hard enough to discourage the average traveler who might have an interest in visiting Saudi Arabia.
 
directorguy
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:02 pm

Quoting EC99 (Reply 42):
Don't know why this hasn't been touched on more. Has anyone here tried to get a visa, without the assistance of an employer or school, to visit Saudi Arabia? Based on people I know who have done it is exceedingly inconvenient if one is not Muslim. A roommate of mine wanted to visit a college friend there and decided to apply for a visa. Fortunately, at that point, we lived about five blocks from the Saudi embassy in the West End of D.C. He eventually got the visa but it took three trips to the Embassy and a lot of waiting around. I can only imagine how long/expensive it would have been if he was not able to just walk over the embassy multiple times. His experience is in line with other trip reports I have read online.

Believe me, Muslims do not find it 'easier' to get a visa for Saudi Arabia just because they are Muslim/Arab.
Basically, all visitors from outside the Gulf countries need a visa, and to get a visa, you need a sponsor, which is usually a company but I think can be a Saudi national. Sponsorship system (known as kefala) is I think inhuman and ridiculous and I think it's a shame that it persists throughout the Gulf countries.

SV developed much earlier than the ME3, and had to cater to the needs of the domestic market, inbound-outbound resident/Saudi travelers and inbound Umra/Hajj passengers. In fact, SV was probably the largest Middle Eastern airline well into the 2000s, but was always overlooked by industry pundits and observers. Wasn't a particularly pleasant airline to fly on, but I think the ME3 effect/changing times forced them to adopt a nicer, more appealing image/brand, modern interior/soft product etc.
Previously SV had to divide up international routes between JED, RUH, and DHA/DMM. From the first two you could fly pretty much anywhere in the SV network internationally, but from DHA/DMM it was mainly focused on Subcontinent/MNL+CGK.

I have never transited through Saudi Arabia, but from the people I know who have done so, it is just like transiting through DXB/DOH/AUH. No transit visa needed, just deplane, go through security, then go to the gate for your next flight. No dodgy 'wait-in-this-holding-pen-until-your-next-flight' type treatment.
 
leftyboarder
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:02 pm

Quoting UALWN (Reply 38):

And you are right. Apart from flights to the holy lands so to speak, prayers are not recited on TK flights. There is Quran available on IFE though.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:03 pm

Quoting johnclipper (Reply 41):
Incorrect - MH has the prayer shown during the safety video.

That's new. It's been almost a year since I last flown MH and even then it was a domestic flight.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 38):
I've flown AK in Malaysia and I haven't noticed anything either (same caveat with respect to language applies, though).

AK is owned by a non-Muslim so to be honest I doubt there would be any Muslim prayers or supplications before flight.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
Chaostheory
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:22 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
I am curious as to why Saudia has not developed into the
type of carrier that EK and QR has become.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
SV is not built around the 6th freedom game, but first and foremost about serving traffic to/from Saudi Arabia along with large volumes of domestic ops.

LAXintl is on the ball.

SV's remit was for many years to provide a public service. Just think of it as another instrument in the giant welfare state of Saudi Arabia. This is slowly starting to change however.

Quoting wzafar (Reply 5):
It's a government owned and run company and doesn't care about making money.
Quoting wzafar (Reply 5):
It's primary purpose is to serve Saudi Arabia itself
Quoting wzafar (Reply 5):
even if that means making no money at all  

Whilst it is probably the most heavily subsidised airline in the world (almost free fuel at domestic points, I hear crickets chirping at DL HQ), for the last decade or so there has been a real effort to reduce losses. Not long ago, the 772 long haul ops were $3m in the red every week. This is/was clearly unsustainable.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 17):
Women, gays, and unmarried couples are not catered to.

Speaking from a position of experience or ignorance?

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 23):
As usual people are commenting who have likely never even flown them
Quoting klwright69 (Reply 23):
Those who haven't then proceed to lecture those of us who actually know the country and the airline.

  

They don't learn from other SV/Saudi related threads either. Which begs the question.......................

Quoting Bluebird191 (Reply 26):
Don't get me wrong - I'm not anti-Islam or anti-religion. Some of my closest friends over time have been religious, one lady in particular is a muslim,
Quoting Bluebird191 (Reply 26):
I can remember picking up some common Arabic phrases knowing they are associated with prayers,

Given that you're not familiar or conversant with the Arabic language, the fact that you get the heebie-jeebies during some announcements is, erm, interesting.
 
hohd
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:22 pm

There are prayers on Egypt air, especially the one I took from CAI to Riyadh. And woman don't have to cover up in the airport transit, only outside the airport in Riyadh. I did transit at RUH on the way to BOM, but it was hassle free and the ground and security staff were quite helpful. Since my transit was only for 3 hours, I had no visa issues.

[Edited 2015-09-03 07:32:57]
 
727LOVER
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:28 pm

Saudia used to have a tag-end JFK-MCO that was scrapped after 9/11. I wonder how they did on the route and if they will return to MCO.

Pictured @ MCO


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TKA380
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RE: Saudia - Why Not Like EK And QR?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:45 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):

Could this see Saudia changing - or would the government still limit what they do with the airline?
Is there no way that they could serve alcohol once the aircraft has entered international airspace?

They offer quite a lot of routes beyond Saudi which could surely be sold from Europe? If the price is right, there are always going to be some PAX who are willing to fly through Saudi Arabia.

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