OPERATIONAL IN Q1: Airline aims to expand its reach in the region
THE national airline of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is setting up its in-flight services centre at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to expand it reach in the region.
According to its vice-president for in-flight services Abdullah A. Alhusaini, the centre is expected to be operational in the first quarter of this year.
He, however, did not reveal the investment for the centre which would house the carrier's cabin crew.
"Malaysia is an important destination for us," he told Business Times in an interview yesterday.
Saudia already has similar centres in New Delhi (India), Casablanca (Morocco), Manila (Philippines), and Jakarta (Indonesia).
"And soon we will have our base in Dhaka (Bangladesh) as well," Abdullah said.
The setting up of the centre is also good news for Malaysians as there will be employment opportunities for locals. Saudia has recruited more than a hundred cabin crew to be based here.
This is also a boost to tourism in Malaysia as it will bring more tourists into the country as Saudia is operating daily flights from Kuala Lumpur since December last year.
Saudia, based in Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport, operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 70 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
As part of the modernisation plans for its aircraft fleet, Saudia now carries a varied mix of different aircraft.
Its fleet comprises more than 100 aircraft, including Airbus 320, 321 and 330; Boeing 747-400, 774-300, 777-300ER and 777-200; and the Embraer 170.