Air Transport World

Saudia: searching for the future. (Saudi Arabian Airlines)

By most definitions, Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Saudia, is successful. It managed to overcome a serious drop in traffic during the first quarter of 1991, which gave it an overall 8.7% drop for the year, to climb back to a net 5% increase for the last three quarters. For its nonscheduled services, Saudia reported an 11% increase in passengers during the first nine months and a 17.55% increase in RTKs.

During August and September, it carried 2.5 million passengers, the most since 1984. While worldwide airline-industry revenues have continued dropping, Saudia reported operating revenues of $1.8 billion in the January-November period, up 4.8% compared with the same period in 1990. Operating profits were about $14 million.

Its on-time performance was 81.24%, which puts it right in with the average U.S. carrier (82.2%), and its load factor for the first three quarters was 66%, up two points from the previous year and in line with the top 10 U. …

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