He said Saudia operated 152 extra Umrah flights from 7 points including Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Adana, Izmir, Kayseri and Trabzon in 2012 to carry 61,073 passengers.
“The number of Umrah passengers flown by the airline rose by 72 percent from 5,291 to 9,084 during the first quarter of 2013,” the manager said.
During the first quarter of 2013, Saudia station in Turkey carried more than 35,000 passengers, which is 74 percent more than the figure of passengers transported by the airline during the same period in 2012.
“The overall performance rate of the station reached 100 percent in the first quarter,” the manager said.
Highlighting the station’s achievements during the first quarter of 2013, he said: “We have successfully increased slots for IST/RUH/IST flights as per preferred schedules.”
SV Turkey has started to operate 4 weekly Riyadh flights year around using A320 aircraft effective June 19, 2012. This operation continues in 2013 as well, the manager said.
“As a result of this SV Turkey’s seat capacity rose113 percent and passenger boarding 203 percent while L/F increased by 55 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012,” said Mr. Alhussami.
Saudia began operating separate flights to Madinah and Jeddah from Istanbul for the first time in its history, since the winter of 2012, the manager pointed out.
“With point to point flights and increased slots, SV Turkey has achieved substantial increase in the number of passengers flown and revenue generated,” he said.
Speaking about the station’s performance last year, Mr. Alhussami said the airline transported more than 87,000 passengers from Istanbul to Riyadh, Jeddah and Madinah with an increase of 58 percent against 2011.
Saudia transported Haj and Umrah pilgrims from seven cities in Turkey to Jeddah and Madinah in 2012, operating 276 additional flights.
“We have carried more than 105,000 Umrah pilgrims and over 40,000 Haj pilgrims on 106 extra flights,” the manager said.
Saudia began its operation in 1967 with a single flight weekly. In November 1976, the airline’s main office was opened in Istanbul. In 2012, Saudia increased its flights from Turkey from four weekly flights to Jeddah and Madinah to 14 flights weekly.