Published: Feb 28, 2011 00:51 Updated: Feb 28, 2011 00:56
JEDDAH: Khaled Al-Molhem, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, has emphasized his organization's strategic plans to become a customer-oriented airline, by improving its services in all operation areas matching SkyTeam alliance standards.
"We are also making efforts to achieve a 4-star airline rating from Skytrax," he said while opening the airline's annual conference at Jeddah Hilton, which will focus on new developments and challenges in the airline industry.
Al-Molhem hoped the two-day conference would contribute to realizing Saudia's strategic goals such as becoming a 4-star airline, achieving operational efficiency and organizational effectiveness, increasing profit and becoming a full SkyTeam member.
The conference comes a month after the national carrier signed an initial agreement with SkyTeam. "That accord was a landmark achievement as it will open new vistas of cooperation between Saudia and other international airlines that are members of SkyTeam and expand Saudia's global reach," Al-Molhem said.
SkyTeam membership not only brings opportunities for Saudi Airlines but also challenges as it has to improve services in line with the alliance's standards. Saudia has taken a number of important steps to become a leading airline in the world. At present it transports 19 million passengers to more than 80 domestic and international destinations on a fleet of 130 aircraft.
It has signed multibillion dollar deals with Airbus and Boeing to purchase 88 new state-of-the-art aircraft and 41 of these aircraft have already joined its domestic and international fleet. It has also shifted to the Amadeus passenger management system and developed its website to provide various automatic services such as reservation, ticket purchase, seat and meal selection, boarding pass issuance and electronic payment.
Al-Molhem highlighted Saudia's strong points. "Being the national carrier of the world's largest oil exporter and Middle East's largest economy, Saudi Arabian Airlines is strategically well positioned and has the potentials to make big gains," he said. Saudi Arabia, being the land of the two holy mosques, receives millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world throughout the year.
He referred to the cut-throat competition in the industry as regional and international airlines compete with one another by offering attractive services to win customers.
Karen Post, an American branding expert, gave a lecture on "Brand Onomics" and said branding was essential to create loyalty, instill confidence, attract talents, get premium pricing, and making choice easy. "All services of the airlines should be branded and standardized to provide integrated services," she said.
Post narrated a story of how a Western airline won the heart of customers by attaching gifts along with their baggage on a Christmas Day. "We should try to look different by providing innovative services," she pointed out. "We must make passengers remember our services."
Steve Martin, a sales linguist, spoke about the need to improve communication with customers to know their requirements and achieve their satisfaction. "We should ensure quality throughout the lifecycle of a customer," he told the conference attended by Saudia's country managers and regional managers.
What a joke !!! The thought of Saudia becoming "customer oriented" is too much to believe !! That ain't NEVER going to happen.
AHMED ALQAHTANI Feb 28, 2011 18:28 Report abuse
ANJU Feb 28, 2011 18:32 Report abuse
SAUDIA AIRLINES IS THE FIRST WE PREFER TO GO INDIA ALWAYS ! The quality standards maintained are good though the behaviour of the air hostesses is not too good. They just perform their duties as if they are mechanical robots . No one would ever care if u ask for a blanket,or an extra glass of water of if you have any problem with the seating arrangement .They also need to improve the gifts given to kids as these days they hardly are given any.I would suggest Saudia Airlines to improve in these aspects as they are one of the best airlines here and we always love travelling by Saudia Airlines.
ANJU Feb 28, 2011 18:34 Report abuse
SAUDIA AIRLINES IS THE FIRST WE PREFER TO GO INDIA ALWAYS ! The quality standards maintained are good though the behaviour of the air hostesses is not too good. They just perform their duties as if they are mechanical robots . No one would ever care if u ask for a blanket,or an extra glass of water of if you have any problem with the seating arrangement .I would suggest Saudia people to improve in these aspects as they are one of the best airlines here .