Saudia board to appoint new director general
The board of directors of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has been given the authority to appoint the national carrier’s director general, said Prince Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation and chairman of Saudia’s board of directors.
Prince Fahd thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin for the gesture. In the past, a royal decree was required to appoint Saudia’s director general or extend his tenure.
“The approval reflects the king’s generous support to the Kingdom’s civil aviation sector and his confidence in the airline’s board of directors,” the prince said. “This will give greater flexibility for the organization to enhance its performance,” he said.
Prince Fahd said the royal approval would strengthen Saudia to face global and regional competition and speed up privatization of the civil aviation sector in general and Saudia in particular.
According to the new system approved by the king, the airline will have a director general appointed to or removed from the position on the basis of decisions taken by the airline’s board of directors. The board will also determine the director general’s salary and other benefits,” he said.
Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, the acting director general of the airline, has emphasized Saudia’s plans to expand its operations to more than 200 destinations worldwide with minimum connections.
“We want to reinforce our presence in Europe, North America, Asia, especially in China and Indonesia as well as to open new markets in Russia, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Czech Republic,” he said.
Saudia recently launched its flights to Toronto, Los Angeles and Manchester as part of its efforts to expand its international operations. It has set out a strategy to capture a market share of 22 million from 28.5 million domestic passengers by 2020.
All-Hazmi emphasized Saudia’s efforts to achieve customer satisfaction by improving services. The airline has bought 90 state-of-the-art aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, 75 of which have already joined its domestic and international fleet.