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History of the 00's

2000   The airline's usher in a new era with H.R.H. Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Defense & Aviation signing a contract to conduct studies for the privatization of the airline on October 8th. Scheduled service to Dhaka and Mumbai started from Madinah on October 31st. Also, scheduled service resumed to Kano, Nigeria, from Jeddah on October 31st. Carried 1,367,745 passengers in August 2000, a record for the airline. Cargo freighter service started to Delhi. Saudi Arabian Airlines Catering produced a record 13.5 million meals during 2000 for Saudi Arabian Airlines' and 50 other international airlines flights. Technical services and materials management divisions of the airline received ISO-9002:1994 certification while its print shop facility received ISO-9001:1994 certification from Moody International  
2001   The final aircraft, a Boeing 777-268 (HZ-AKW) arrived in Jeddah on August 6, 2001, thus completing Saudi Arabian Airlines' order of 61 new generation aircraft. Smoking banned on flights between the Kingdom and Europe beginning September 18th, 2001. Information technology, flight operations and cargo sales & services divisions received ISO-9001:2000 certification from Moody International  
2002   Saudi Arabian Airlines' new Golden Service launched to Europe, the U.S., Dubai and Kuala Lumpur with flight SV035 departing for the U.S. on March 31, 2002  
2003   Presidency of Civil Aviation (PCA) certifies new Boeing-777 and MD-90 flight simulators at the Prince Sultan Aviation Sciences Academy. Beginning October, a new unified reservations number (802-22222) was introduced to customers. European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) granted Saudi Arabian Airlines the European Joint Aviation Requirements maintenance license (JAR 145). Flights to Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's north west province, started  October 27th with three weekly flights. Saudia Catering receives prestigious awards from Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. Nine Japanese groups of 198 tourists arrived on a chartered flight on December 27th as part of "Discover Saudi Arabia" tour packages  
2004   New self check-in terminals at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) inaugurated on February 28th. Yahoo awards Saudi Arabian Airlines in ceremonies at Jumeirah Beach Hotel on 4th May "in recognition of the contribution made by advertisers and agencies to the growth of online advertising in the Middle East." The airline launches the First Total Quality Conference at the Jeddah Meridian Hotel. Saudi Arabian Airlines celebrates new record carrying over fifteen million passengers in one year  
2005   Saudi Arabian Airlines introduces new telephone number (920022222) that unifies all reservation numbers within the Kingdom. New mobile phones (SMS) service introduced for all passengers traveling on its international and domestic flights. Flights, including reminders for purchasing tickets, reservations confirmation for wait-listed passengers and notification of changes in flight schedules  
2005   Saudi Arabian Airlines signs new contract for 23 passenger buses for use at King Abdullaziz International Airport in Jeddah. New cargo flights started between Saudi Arabia and Shanghai, People's Republic of China. Flights to Prague, Czech Republic, continued for a second year. Mr. Pierre Jeanniot, Director General Emeritus of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) advises Saudi Arabian Airlines it has ranked first among forty-three world airlines on "Operational Safety Audits." Saudi Arabian Airlines celebrates its 60th Anniversary. A record 16 million passengers is carried for the year  
2006   New Embraer service inaugurated on January 03rd with the launch of the first two aircrafts of its new Embraer fleet, a total of fifteen new Embraer 170 aircrafts in a $400 million self-financed deal. Express ticket & boarding pass delivery service - customers can book online, pay online, and order tickets to be delivered to their shipping address within 24 Hours in main cities in Saudi Arabia. Special counters renovated at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh to accommodate passengers with special needs, provided them with special lounges at the airport's main terminals to facilitate their travel procedures. In addition these lounges will be equipped with ramps, wheelchairs and special seats for their mobility and comfort. Automated ticketing program scheduled to start and will include the development of the Stars ticketing and reservations system and connect all international stations  
2007   Al-Fursan Golden Lounge at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah launched on December 25th. New e-ticketing project launched with first e-ticket on route JED-DMM-JED. E-Ticketing includes internet reservations, boarding pass self-service and voice recognizing system  

In the beginning of 2009, Saudi Arabian Airlines signed an agreement with SITA for upgrading the airline’s technical infrastructure and link 250 SV offices in 60 countries through the Internet.


The airline’s first Boeing 777 aircraft was launched after modernizing its passenger cabin at the technical services center in King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah. The website of the retirees was also unveiled.


On March 28, 2009, Saudia launched its flights to three Indian cities of Lucknow, Bangalore and Calicut. The airline also launched its first international flight from Abha to Cairo.


In the same year Saudia Private Aviation launched domestic and international flights for businessmen and top business executives. SPA has six Hawker aircraft with six seats to service to Gulf and Middle East and four Falcon X7s with 14 seats to operate flights to Asian, European and American destinations. SPA’s fleet will reach 40 by 2020.


On October 28, 2009 Saudia received two Airbus 320, which began operating flights on 16/11/2009. At present Saudia has 35 A320s, 15 A321s and 12 A330s, and will soon have 20 Boeing 777s, and eight B787 Dreamliners. The presence of 90 new aircraft would strengthen the airline’s competitive position and improve its services.


In November 2009, Saudia Cargo Company launched a new air freight station in Milan to boost cargo transport between the Kingdom and Italy.


On January 3, 2010 the first batch of graduates from Saudia’s Future Pioneers training program passed out. The program was introduced to train highly qualified Saudis to take up important positions in the various sectors of the organization.


On January 25, 2010 the RTB-DCS automatic passenger acceptance system for Saudi Arabian Airlines was launched at Khartoum Airport in Sudan.


In the same year a unified number for cancellation of reservation


(920030000) was introduced as part of automatic services being provided to customers.


On March 6, 2010 Saudia signed letters of intent with Al-Ahli Capital and Morgan Stanley to become financial consultants for the privatization of the core airline unit.


On April 11, 2010 Saudia successfully shifted to the Amadeus passenger management system. On May 1, 2010 the airline started implementing a new baggage allowance system on all its domestic flights.


In October, 2010 Saudia started providing mobile and Internet services on its Airbus 330 flights.


On October 24, 2010 Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries, an affiliate of Saudi Airlines, signed an agreement with Human Resource Development Fund to train Saudi workers to take up aircraft maintenance jobs.


In the same year, the Saudia Cargo Company introduced a new system to transport extra baggage of passengers, especially for those returning from their vacations abroad.


On Dec. 12, 2010, Saudia signed a code-share agreement with Air France.


On Dec. 17, 2010, Saudia transferred France-bound reservation calls to its regional call center in Jordan, without incurring any additional expenses for passengers.


On January 10, 2011, Saudi Arabian Airlines signed an initial agreement to join SkyTeam global alliance, which has currently a membership of 15 airlines.


January 18, 2011 witnessed Saudia opening its newly designed ticket sales office in Paris.


March 27, 2011 was another important day in Saudia history when it began flights to the Chinese industrial city of Guangzhou, with three flights weekly.


In the same year, Saudia started providing SMS service to its passengers to give them the latest information about their flights as well as necessary guidance to facilitate their travel.


On March 30, 2011 Saudia shifted its operations at Heathrow Airport in London from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4, where advanced facilities are provided to passengers.


On June 16, 2011, Saudia Catering Company’s branch at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam received ICQA 2010 Golden Award of IATA from 230 catering companies in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for ensuring quality of its products and adopting industry best practices.

On August 8, 2011 Saudia Private Aviation launched its website on the Internet.


On November 26, 2011, Saudia won Digital Excellence Award organized by the Saudi Ministry of Information Technology and Communications for best IT applications and Arab content on its website.


January 23, 2012 was another important day when Saudia received two Boeing 777-300ERs among 20 such aircraft it had ordered from the American manufacturer.


In February 2012, Saudia Cargo Company received Stat Times Excellence Award during a ceremony in Mumbai, India.


On March 1, 2012 Saudia launched its first flight to Addis Ababa, using A320 aircraft.


During the same month, the airline launched its new logo and identity “Welcome to Your World” as well as its new interior design for Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.


On the first of May 2012 reservation calls of Saudia passengers in the US and Canada have been transferred to the Call Center in Amman, Jordan as part of the airline’s efforts to provide quick services. Saudia passengers who contact the Reservation Center in Washington for reservation, issuance of ticket and other services can get the same services from the Amman center that operates 24 hours and seven days a week as well as during weekly and public holidays without any halt. Soon after the end of working hours at the Washington Center, the calls will be transferred to Amman. The calls of customers, who could not get in touch with employees at the Washington Center, being busy attending other customers, will also be transferred to Amman center.


On May 29, 2012, Saudia celebrated its joining of SkyTeam global alliance by signing agreements with member airlines. Saudia becomes the 16th member of SkyTeam alliance and the first member in the Middle East.


On June 19, 2012, Saudia’s Information Technology Unit, represented by Infrastructure Development and Support (IDS), has been adjudged by the Network Middle East, an ITP business publication, as the winner of “Best Fixed Networking Implementation 2012.”


On October 15, 2012, Saudia signed two separate contracts with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for joint training. According to the first contract, the airline’s training department will be considered as an accredited regional training center for IATA, whereas the second contract will initiate a joint partnership between the two parties at foreign training centers.


On November 19, 2012, Saudia signed two separate contracts, first to build an in-flight Services Academy, and the second to provide six devices simulation for cabin aircraft Airbus 320, 330, Embraer 170, Boeing 777, 747 and 787, and immediately upon completion of the establishment of the Academy will be possible to absorb and train seven thousand trainees per year, with modern training services using new aircraft models in order to upgrade the level of air service sector.

In December 2012, HH Prince Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation and chairman of Saudia’s board of directors, attended a convocation ceremony to mark the graduation of the first batch of an advanced training program for air stewards at the airline and their number was 50.

In the same month, Saudia Private Aviation launched its inflight entertainment system on iPad to provide the service on its flights including Falcon 7X and Hawker 400XP, thus becoming the first Arab private airline to provide the service. The main feature of this system is that it will operate without Internet.

Saudia, represented by its IT department, received the CIO 50 Award for the Middle East in 2012 during a ceremony in Dubai.


In January 2013, Saudia launched pre-flight information bulletins (PFIs) for management of the duties of air stewards and stewardesses. A system has been developed to provide all information about the flight before take-off. This was introduced to help the stewards and stewardesses provide the best possible services to passengers.

In the same month, Saudia was selected among the best 10 airlines in the region for achieving high rates of on-time performance, especially in January 2013. The ranking was announced by Flightstats, a leading company in aviation services.

In February 2013, Prince Sultan Aviation Academy received a license and an international professional recognition from Boeing to become a globally recognized training center in order to provide advanced training to pilots including on simulators.

In March 5, 2013 Saudia signed an agreement with King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) to establish a smart techno park inside KAEC, which is located in Rabigh.

In March 2013 Saudia opened its new office in Manama at Platinum Tower in Al-Saif district.

In 2013, Saudia achieved one of its major strategic goals by shifting to Amadeus Passenger Revenue Accounting, thus becoming the first airline in the world to receive the system from Amadeus.

During the same month, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the US renewed the license it had issued to Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries after a five-member team of experts inspected the company’s facilities for two weeks.

Saudia also announced a unified telephone number to receive complaints, queries and proposals from passengers from within and outside Saudi Arabia (920003777). The number operates from Saturday through Friday (from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.) It also introduced a new email address to inquire about lost baggage:

In May 2013 Saudia signed a memorandum of understanding with Amadeus, a leading company specialized in aviation programs, for cooperation with its Smart Technopark at KAEC in Rabigh to develop e-commerce systems and aviation solutions.

In May 2013 Saudia received its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with three classes including First and Business, with new specifications and designs during a ceremony at Seattle in the US.
June 2013: Saudi Airlines Cargo Company received excellence award during a ceremony organized by Air Cargo Week in Munich, Germany.

As part of its efforts to provide maximum comfort to passengers, Saudia launched its new Alfursan lounge at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh for international flights. The lounge can accommodate 250 passengers at a time.

During the same month, Saudia unveiled its newly developed Alfursan program offering a number of benefits for customers.

October 27, 2013: Saudia launched its nonstop flights from Riyadh to Madrid with stopover in Jeddah, using A320.

During the same month, Saudia launched its flight to the Canadian city of Toronto after opening courters at Toronto airport.

October 2013 also witnessed installation of digital telephone systems, which helped saving money paid on international calls to contact its 250 offices worldwide.

During the same month, Saudia received the Arab Achievement Award 2013 instituted by the Arabian Business Magazine, which selected Saudia as airline of the year in the Middle East, after assessing its performance from January through September 2013.

December 2013: Saudia received the second position in on-time performance of flights in a list of airlines representing all continents, published by Flightstats.

Saudia launched a new laboratory at its main medical center in Jeddah, equipped with advanced medical facilities.

Saudia Cargo won International Excellence Award 2013 during the International Air Cargo Show in Mumbai, India.

At the end of 2013, Saudia achieved the highest rate in passenger transportation, carrying 25.24 million passengers on 177,435 flights with an average on-time performance of 90.46%.


In January 2014, Saudia’s IT Department won CIO 50 Award for the third consecutive year.

In February 2014 Saudia celebrated the golden jubilee of its operations to Dubai, where it also opened its new office.

During the same month, it celebrated the graduation of 22 trainees of Future Pioneer Program, in London.

March 2014 witnessed the laying of foundation for its new office in Madinah.

In April 2014 Saudia launched its first direct flight to Istanbul from Dammam.

During the same month, Saudia launched its first flight to Los Angeles, its third destination in the US after Washington and New York.

It also re-launched its flight to Manchester in the UK.


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