Air Transport World

Saudi concentrating on self-reliance.

Jeddah--Saudia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, looks set to have recorded another expansionist year in 1983, with RPKs (revenue passenger kilometres) running 24% ahead of 1982 during the first three quarters and the passenger load factor up by 4%. But 1984 will produce big challenges ffor the airline: the majority of 11 Airbus Industrie A300-600s, which are on order, due to enter te fleet. This version of the European widebody has a cathode-ray tube flight deck and forward facing cockpit.

According to Captain Ahmed Mattar, Saudia director general, the airline has been spared much of the direct worldwide recession which has impacted other IATA airlines due to "its unique position as a key instrument in the development of one of the world's fastest-growing economies." But Mattar identified one serious side effect of the general economic slowdown as the growing practice of unauthorized discounting. "This," he said, "has certainly had a harmful influence on our sphere of operations." An amazing milestone

Despite this, Saudia boosted its operating revenue during 1982 over the previous year and carried, ffor the first time, over 10 million passengers--an amazing milestone to have reached, considering that it was only in 1973 that the airline first topped the 1 million mark in one year. …

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