Founded in 1945, Saudi Arabian Airlines or Saudia is the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia. Its company slogan is welcome to your world! It is the third largest airline in Middle East. The airline is owned by the Saudi Arabian government with its headquarters located in Jeddah.
The main operational hub is Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport. Its secondary hubs include Riyadh-King Khalid International Airport and Dammam-King Fahd International Airport.
Saudia has only just recently introduced its low-cost airline subsidiary called Flyadeal to serve domestic and regional destinations. It will begin its operation in 2017. Saudia is a member of SkyTeam airline alliance following its membership in 2012. The airline flies to over 120 domestic and international destinations across 81 cities. These include Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Bangalore, Beirut, Colombo, Doha, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Los Angeles, Malaga, Nice, Rome, Singapore, and Taipei. Saudia also has codeshare agreements with many major carriers across the globe including KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Oman Air, and Royal Air Maroc.
Saudia current fleet includes Airbuses A319-100, A320-200, A321-200, A330-200, A330-300 and Boeings 747-400, 777-200ER, 777-300ER, and 787-9. The fleet also consists of a small number of Embraer ERJ-170 totalling to around 170 aircrafts. Saudia also operates several aircrafts used for government and military activities in the region and Europe.
Saudia offers three cabin configurations namely First, Business and Guest or Economy classes. First class cabin is arranged in 2-2-2 layout with extra-wide seats. Other features include sleeping suits, overnight kits, cardamom-flavoured Arabic coffee, and luxury cuisine with six different hors d’oeuvres! Business class passengers can enjoy wide reclining seats, overnight kits, cardamom-flavoured Arabic coffee, and international cuisine with three hors d’oeuvres. Economy or Guess class passengers will miss out on the cardamom-flavoured Arabic coffee but still get to enjoy one hors d’oeuvres, overnight kits and comfortable seats with ‘articulated movement’ feature that enables automatic seat adaptation to body movement.
Saudia provides in-seat personal video screen with AVOD filled with movies, TV shows, musics and games. Passengers can also shop on air and have the items purchased delivered to their destinations. Some aircrafts are equipped with designated prayer rooms. Saudia in-flight magazine is called Ahlan Wasahlan. On-board WiFi is provided on certain aircrafts and most of its latest aircrafts now have in-seat power outlets to charge gadgets. Hot meals are provided and this varies depending on flight durations. All meals are guaranteed halal and passengers with special dietary restrictions can specify their needs when purchasing tickets or during online check-in. No alcoholic beverages or pork are served on this airline.
Saudia frequent flyer program is called Alfursan. Similar to most loyalty programs, passengers collect miles within a calendar year to go up the tier with the higher tiers providing more benefits including seat upgrades, excess baggage allowance and priority check-in and boarding. Miles can be earned and spent on SkyTeam airline partners or Alfursan financial, hotel or retail and lifestyle partners around the world.
Saudia offers very generous baggage allowance. Like most airlines, the allowance varies according to ticket classes and flight routes. For domestic flights, Economy class passengers can carry one bag weighing up to 25kg while First class and Business class passengers are allowed two bags each weighing up to 25kg. For international flights, Economy class passengers are allowed two bags each weighing up to 23kg while First class and Business class passengers two bags each weighing up to 32kg. Those travelling with infants are allowed additional baggage. Higher tier members of Alfursan are also given more baggage allowance. Additional allowance can be purchased online or at the airport.