Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) today signs an agreement to join SkyTeam alliance opening up to 985 destinations worldwide.
Today’s joining ceremony is held under the patronage of Prince Fahd bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to celebrate the joining of Saudia to SkyTeam, which is the second largest airline alliance worldwide. The ceremony will be attended by chief executive officers of SkyTeam member airlines, businessmen, media personnel, diplomatic figures, and stakeholders of air transport industry.
According to Al-Iqtissadiya newspaper, the opening ceremony will include speeches from Prince Fahd bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, Engineer Khalid A. Almolhem, Director General of Saudia, and Skyteam's CEO Michael Wisbrun. This will be followed by signing the joining agreement to the alliance and then revealing Saudia aircraft with SkyTeam’s logo.
From his side, Engineer Almolhem said that the joining of Saudia will reflect positively on the airline and all the alliance’s airlines. He added that the joining will lead to many benefits to travelers, related to reservation procedures and tickets’ issuance, and access to around 1,000 destinations spread over 173 countries globally.
Engineer Almolhem highlighted that joining SkyTeam is a historic day for the national carrier and launches a new and important phase for the airline at a time when alliances and mergers play a main and effective role in the competition that is witnessed by the air transport industry at a global scale.
Engineer Almolhem added that “Saudia is the first airline in the Middle East region and among Arab states to join SkyTeam that is the second largest worldwide alliance. This will bring positive results in operations and increasing the number of travelers, and will elevate services for Saudia and the services of all alliance members. He added that the airline will be able to serve pilgrims and religious visitors in many countries and ease their travel to the Kingdom.”
Moreover, joining SkyTeam would support tourism in the Kingdom, and will provide wider options for travelers to reach 958 destinations around the world and benefit from the services of all SkyTeam airlines that are spread around the world.
Saudia has met all the requirements needed to join SkyTeam. Furthermore the airline’s ground handling, air and technical services along with the airline’s infrastructure and its automated systems were certified by SkyTeam’s follow up teams that place very precise conditions in the fields of safety, service and customer relationship.
Saudia will be the 16th member to join SkyTeam alliance that was founded in 2000 by four airlines: AeroMexico, Delta Airlines, Air France, and Korean Air. Later on, the following 11 members joined the alliance respectively: Aeroflot, AirEuropa, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Easters, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, TAROM, and Vietnam Airlines. The number of the alliance members reached 15 in 2011, and the alliance is still growing.