4 JUNE 2012
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SkyTeam has welcomed Saudia as its 16th member at a joining ceremony held in Jeddah. The flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, Saudia becomes SkyTeam’s first member airline from the Middle East and gives the alliance a foothold in this important economic region.
From its hubs in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam, Saudia operates a comprehensive network throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Northern Africa. Saudia adds 51 new destinations to SkyTeam’s global network, including 23 within Saudi Arabia.
Prior to joining SkyTeam, Saudia embarked on a four-year turnaround programme, which will be completed by 2013. As a key part of this programme, the airline took the opportunity to refresh its corporate identity and change its name. Upon joining SkyTeam, the name Saudia was reintroduced, the airline’s name from 1972 to 1996, replacing Saudi Arabian Airlines. Other elements of Saudia’s transformation plan include modernizing IT, commercial, operational and financial platforms and renewing the fleet by acquiring 90 new aircraft.
During the joining ceremony, Saudia unveiled two aircraft painted in SkyTeam livery. The aircraft are a Boeing B777-200 (reg. HZ-AKC) deployed on routes to Dubai, London, New York and Guangzhou, and an Airbus A320 (reg. HZ-ASF) used regionally. www.saudiairlines.com
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