Saudia

SAUDIA provides a special in-flight experience for children

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Saudia

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is keeping families happy on board with a special in-flight experience for children.

The carrier says that when the children are happy and satisfied, parents can also enjoy a relaxed time on board.

When boarding SAUDIA aircraft, children up to 12 years receive a bag printed with colourful SAUDIA cartoon characters containing a colouring book, crayons, a sleeping mask and headphones. SAUDIA says its kids’ amenity kit won the Canadian Pax magazine’s award for the best children’s offering on board.

SAUDIA’s in-flight entertainment programme offers selection of over 50 different games and various children’s channels, as well as Disney movies. The carrier’s fun, delicious and nutritious menu can be managed in advance through the online booking platform and parents travelling with small children can use baby baskets to provide a comfortable sleep for their little ones. SAUDIA’s cabin crew will assist passengers with bottle or food warming and are on hand to help with any other requests.

Established in 1945, SAUDIA has grown to become one of the Middle East’s largest airlines and has invested significantly in upgrading its aircraft and currently operates one of the youngest fleet. The airline serves an extensive global route network covering around 100 destinations across four continents, including all 28 domestic airports in Saudi Arabia.

SAUDIA

Saudi Arabian Airlines launches new in-flight entertainment system

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SAUDIA

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) revealed its brand-new in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, Beyond, on 9 May.

SAUDIA says the new IFE system will further transform the carrier’s onboard experience, offering over 5,000 hours of HD content such as Western and Eastern films and TV shows, ebooks, weather reports, shopping, meal ordering and flight information.

Beyond features the largest Islamic content in the skies, with guests getting notified of prayer times throughout the journey. The system’s Kid Mode allows children to watch their favourite cartoons, movies, and games.

Beyond also offers a range of other practical features, such as the ability to check the status of the flight while en route and a real-time view of the sky during take-off and landing from cameras. Guests onboard can also shop and browse the latest products from the comfort of their seat.

Essam Akhonbay, SAUDIA’s VP Marketing & Product Management, said: “We’ve never stopped improving our product. The new IFE will further transform SAUDIA’s onboard experience. The success of SAUDIA’s IFE investments and strategy is demonstrated by the loyalty and positive feedback from our guests across all cabin classes. We are delighted to showcase our new IFE with visitors at the ATM.”

The new IFE System Beyond will be implemented gradually across the SAUDIA fleet by the end of this year.

L-R - Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, Saudia CEO and Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation

Saudia and Inmarsat celebrate partnership

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L-R - Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, Saudia CEO and Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation

Saudia has reinforced its in-flight connectivity partnership with Inmarsat, with a celebration and gift exchange at the recent APEX EXPO 2021 in Long Beach, California.

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Saudia has ambitious plans to enhance its passenger experience and reinforce its status as one of the Middle East’s leading carriers, with digitalisation playing a fundamental role. We are delighted to be selected as the airline’s inflight connectivity provider as part of this exciting journey, with an initial focus on its upcoming fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. We are committed to meeting Saudia’s needs and it was a pleasure to reinforce that once again with Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy at APEX EXPO this week.”

Under the Middle East’s first major airline connectivity agreement since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Saudia will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia, with the service allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, shop online and more during flights using their own personal devices. In addition, the OneFi platform will serve as a catalyst for Saudia to monetise its in-flight connectivity by bringing a host of real-time onboard services together within a single portal interface, such as ordering food, beverages and duty free items, enjoying e-books, newspapers and magazines, receiving flight updates, and signing into Saudia’s AlFursan frequent flyer programme.

The aircraft will connect to GX Aviation using an ultra-high performance terminal by GDC Advanced Technology, with the first installation expected in late 2022.

APEX WORLD CLASS recipients

APEX confers first WORLD CLASS awards

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APEX WORLD CLASS recipients

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has introduced and conferred the new ‘WORLD CLASS’ award and accreditation.

Created in association Thailand-based Yates and Partners’ and peer reviewed at the Victoria University, Melbourne, by Associate Professor Dr. Maxwell Winchester, WORLD CLASS is the new “North Star” for aviation

According to APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader, “APEX has an overriding mission transforming aviation to better serve its customers and our society.” As a response, WORLD CLASS requires airlines to consider their focus on the areas of sustainability, keeping the customer safe, brand integrity, comfort, engagement, service and cuisine.

Every aspect of the guest experience over many flights, in every class, is rated by industry professionals, and combined with analysis of one year’s NPS customer data of the in-flight experience to get a complete evaluation of the guest experience.

While announcing the new rating, APEX revealed the first seven airlines to achieve WORLD CLASS status.

Emirates was recognised for its ‘elegant service execution, high standards, engaging crew’. Its best-in-class IFE and quality first mindset was also highlighted.

Japan Airlines was highly praised for its ‘outstanding hospitality’ and ‘consistent service delivery from flight to flight’ with ‘warm and personable service.’

KLM was commended for its ‘leadership in sustainability, circular mindset evident at all levels,’ while Qatar’s ‘ultimate quality and detail management, generous space and seat concepts, guest experience innovation’ saw it rewarded.

Saudia’s ‘naturally generous Saudi hospitality, Singapore Airlines’ ‘elevated service standards, notable brand integrity, best in class customer relations’ and the ‘excellence in cuisine and extraordinary generosity’ of Turkish Airlines saw these airlines become the first cohorts of the audited awards.

Photo (left to right): Patrick Brannelly, SVP Retail, In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity, Emirates; Akira Kimura, SVP The Americas, Japan Airlines; KLM’s EVP Customer Experience, Boet Kreiken; Chief Customer Experience Officer at Qatar Airways, Rossen Dimitrov; Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO at SAUDIA; Joey Seow, Regional VP at Singapore Airlines; and İlker Aycı, Group CEO & Chairman, Turkish Airlines.
Boeing will provide a suite of services to Saudia to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets' operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

Saudia turns to Boeing for enhanced services

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Boeing will provide a suite of services to Saudia to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets' operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

Boeing will provide a suite of services to Saudia to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets’ operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

“As ever, Saudia is continuously focused on operational efficiency, optimal fleet utilisation, and deployment,” said Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, CEO, Saudia. “We see our continued alliance with Boeing and these essential services as an enabler that will help to drive our progress toward this vision.”

Saudia will use Boeing’s Optimised Maintenance Program (OMP), which uses advanced data analytics to provide detailed insights for improved maintenance operations, and Boeing’s Airplane Health Management (AHM) digital solution, which applies predictive maintenance analytics and diagnostic tools to help improve the quality and speed of maintenance decisions, resulting in improved on-time performance. These services will be combined with Boeing’s OEM engineering and consulting expertise.

“Our Boeing consulting teams have partnered closely with Saudia for many years to find new opportunities to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiency. We are delighted to continue this partnership by applying our advanced digital solutions,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO, Boeing Global Services. “Similarly, Saudia will be able to rely on our 777 interiors engineering expertise throughout the course of their fleet reconfiguration plans.”

Boeing’s interior modification team will partner with Saudia to deliver all aspects of their 777 modification, including design, certification, and the supply of parts required for completion.

Saudia will outfit its upcoming fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed in-flight broadband solution.

Saudia selects Inmarsat’s GX Aviation

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Saudia will outfit its upcoming fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed in-flight broadband solution.

Saudia will outfit its upcoming fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed in-flight broadband solution.

Saudia will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia, and the first airline in the region to select Inmarsat’s new OneFi customer experience platform and the first in the world to select GX Aviation’s next-generation terminal, developed with GDC Advanced Technology. The terminal provides enhanced customer flexibility and is future proofed to meet the demands of planned and new constellations.

The airline’s first installation of GX Aviation is expected in late 2022.

Inmarsat’s OneFi platform will allow Saudia to monetise its in-flight connectivity by bringing a host of onboard services together within a single portal interface. The solution, which launched two months ago in September 2021, allows passengers to order food, beverages and duty-free items, enjoy e-books, newspapers and magazines, receive the latest information for their flight and destination, and sign into Saudia’s AlFursan frequent flyer programme, all in real-time from the comfort of their seat.

GDC Advanced Technology will produce and install GX Aviation’s next-generation terminal, with a robust flat panel antenna developed by Thinkom.

Tracy Trent, President of GDC Advanced Technology, said: “More than being just an enabler for the digital transformation of the airline experience, providing a touchless onboard experience will be the key to increasing passenger confidence as regional and global air travel recovers from the global Covid-19 pandemic. GX Aviation is well-positioned to exploit our new lightweight, low drag, ultra-high-performance terminal, and will optimise its capabilities even further, providing Saudia with the perfect blueprint for world-class in-flight broadband that meets passenger expectations for generations to come.”

Saudia has selected Panasonic for the provision of 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment on its 35 new Airbus A321neo family aircraft.

Saudia selects Panasonic for 4K and Bluetooth IFE

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Saudia has selected Panasonic for the provision of 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment on its 35 new Airbus A321neo family aircraft.

Saudia has selected Panasonic for the provision of 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment on its 35 new Airbus A321neo family aircraft.

Panasonic already provide IFE for Saudia’s fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft – with 45 aircraft utilising its technology.

Panasonic’s NEXT IFE system will be installed on 20 new Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321neoXLR aircraft and has been configured to evolve with the future business objectives of the airline.

In addition to the full cabin advanced HD experience, Saudia will also feature Bluetooth audio streaming, allowing Saudi’s passengers to use their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Business class features 16-inch screens and wireless charging, while economy class offers 12-inch 4K screens, and high-power USB charging at every seat.

Captain Ibrahim Koshy, Chief Executive Officer at Saudi Arabian Airlines, said: “We are delighted to be partnering again with Panasonic Avionics who have consistently delivered on their product commitments to provide reliable, engaging, tailored in-flight entertainment for our guests. Implementing their 4K and Bluetooth technology onboard our new fleets will ensure we deliver the best passenger experience in the skies.”

Image: From left to right in the foreground: Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Ken Sain, CEO, Panasonic Avionics Corporation.
Saudia is promoting the historical and archaeological charms of Al Ula

Museum in the sky highlights treasures of AlUla

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Saudia is promoting the historical and archaeological charms of Al Ula

Saudia has introduced a new in-flight entertainment system (IFE) channel, Discover Saudi Arabia, as part of a relationship with the Royal Commission for AlUia (RCU).

The channel launched with documentary movie, Architects of Ancient Arabia, a 2021 release full-length documentary movie produced by PowderHouse revealing that some of human civilization’s first building blocks were set in place in AlUla, a historic city in the Medina Region in north-western Saudi Arabia.

Khaled Tash, Vice President of Corporate Communication at Saudia Group said: “As the national flag carrier and Wings of Vision 2030, it is a privilege to showcase heritage sites and hidden gems of the Kingdom. We have created a dedicated channel in our in-flight entertainment system to do just that and to display this beautifully produced documentary by the Discovery Channel.”

Passengers have also been treated to a unique in-flight experience as Saudia and AlUla highlighted one of the world’s biggest archaeological programme on a special Museum in the Sky flight.

A joint collaboration between Saudia and AlUla, the flight took off from Riyadh to AlUla on the 4 November 2021. Onboard the flying museum, a replica collection of artefacts discovered in AlUla during excavations by archaeologists revealed some of the mysteries of AlUla’s ancient civilizations.

Kerrie McEvoy, Channel Director, Discovery Channel, Europe, Middle East & Africa said: “We are delighted that Architects of Ancient Arabia is displayed onboard Saudi IFE system, we aim to serve our passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. This was a special project for Discovery, and AlUla is a special place with untouched desert and some of the most stunningly well-preserved evidence of ancient civilizations. We hope that all Saudia passengers will enjoy the movie during their flight times.”

Said Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer at RCU added: “Museum in the Sky provided a true connection back to AlUla as a living museum and the significance of the archaeological work we do in AlUla, which we believe is the biggest archaeological program in the world right now. We are honoured to work with Saudia and to welcome these passengers and all those who are planning visits over the next few months to discover more of AlUla’s living history.”

Saudi Arabian Airlines and Lifebuoy have signed the first of its kind Hygiene Partnership Agreement in the Middle East.

Saudia and Lifebuoy team up on hygiene

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Saudi Arabian Airlines and Lifebuoy have signed the first of its kind Hygiene Partnership Agreement in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabian Airlines and Lifebuoy have signed the first of its kind hygiene partnership agreement in the Middle East.

Under the agreement, Lifebuoy and Saudia-branded personal hygiene kits will be provided on all international and domestic flights. Each kit will carry Lifebuoy hand sanitiser gel and antibacterial wet wipes along with a uniquely designed face mask. Keeping sustainability at heart, all kits are environmentally friendly, reusable, and recyclable.

The personal hygiene kits are designed uniquely, each carrying heritage-themed patterns highlighting and spreading awareness of the Kingdom’s historically rich regions to passengers – Najd, Hejaz, Southern, Northern and Eastern provinces. The iconic regional patterns have been selected in cooperation with the Saudi Heritage Commission.

SAUDIA Braille guides

SAUDIA extends Braille offerings for visually impaired and blind passengers

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SAUDIA Braille guides

Saudi Arabian Airlines has committed to providing services and products onboard for all visually impaired guests.

In 2015, SAUDIA became the world’s first airline to introduce a comprehensive flight guide in Braille, and this year marked World Braille Day (4 January) by extending the service across in-flight entertainment (IFE) and cuisine options.

Passengers can select a Braille cuisine option at time of booking through a simple step while making a booking from the airline’s website or by calling SAUDIA. IFE options include audio descriptive movies and content onboard.

Saudi Arabian Airlines prints all material in-house with its full-spectrum Braille printer in order to transform all materials and applications, such as special meals and menus, safety procedures and magazines in Braille for in-flight use.

Commenting on the services provided by the airline, Chief Executive Officer of SAUDIA, Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy said: “SAUDIA is committed to being an inclusive airline, providing amenities, services and support for all guests. We take pride in making our very best efforts to provide a comfortable, welcoming and hospitable experience from each point of the journey.”