Emphasising its commitment to joining efforts with government entities to serve pilgrims
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, SAUDIA Group, 16 May 2023 – Saudi Airlines, flyadeal, and Saudi Private Aviation – have announced its operational plan for Hajj season 2023, allocating over one million and 200 thousand seats for pilgrims from all over the world. The integrated plan includes optimising the use of SAUDIA group’s current fleet of 164 aircraft, with the provision of an additional fleet of 12 aircraft.
SAUDIA group will be transporting pilgrims from more than 100 scheduled destinations and
14 seasonal destinations to 6 airports in the Kingdom located in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam,
Medina, Taif, and Yanbu. The eight thousand cockpit and cabin crew can speak a total of 42
different languages and will graciously serve the guests during their trips; reflecting the
generous nature of Saudi hospitality.
The plan ensures synergy from all SAUDIA Group subsidiaries, especially those concerned
with providing services to pilgrims, specifically, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries
(SAEI), Saudi Ground Services (SGS), and Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SACC), all of
which will operate at full capacity and around the clock throughout the Hajj season. SAUDIA aims to provide the best air transport and logistic services, as well as other integrated services across all locations through digital platforms and qualified personnel to serve pilgrims upon arrival and departure.
Mr. Amer Alkhushail, Chief Hajj and Umrah Officer at SAUDIA Group, said: “Through our
accumulated experience, capable employees, and our relentless pursuit to offer the best
technical services that guarantee a smooth travel experience, SAUDIA Group is ready to
implement a new Hajj plan. This operational plan is in line with the directives of the
Supreme Hajj Committee, headed by His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin
Naif bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior; the Central Hajj Committee headed by His Royal
Highness Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Region; and in cooperation with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and
the Pilgrim Experience Program.”
Al Khushail also highlighted the importance of integrating performance with various
government stakeholders at airports like the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
along with all companies involved in organising Hajj trips inside and outside the Kingdom.
Al Khushail revealed that Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina
will receive the first flights arriving in the Kingdom on May 21.
Recently, SAUDIA Group has concluded a number of agreements with various authorities
to serve pilgrims in many countries, as part of its endeavor to increase its operational share
and invest in its reputation by providing air transport services in a distinct spiritual
atmosphere. In addition, SAUDIA Group aims to achieve operational efficiency while fully
complying with safety standards, which are its top priorities. The company has mobilised its
human and digital capabilities to provide the best services and implement the plan through
various paths, including the performance monitoring team, the terminal operations centre team, as well as the team in charge of the follow-up and pre-coordination with all sectors
and relevant authorities. All these teams work around the clock and with direct follow-up
from SAUDIA’s senior leadership.
SAUDIA Group provides pilgrims with many distinguished services, including issuance of
boarding passes for the arrival and return flights from international departure and domestic
terminals; staffing King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah and Prince
Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (Madinah Airport) with navigators and
employees fluent in the various languages; arranging the dispatch of Zamzam water bottles
to various destinations; and providing additional flights for pilgrims wishing to travel to
Medina by air. This is offered in addition to securing the operational requirements, including
staff, labor and ground equipment, in proportion to the size of the operation. Therefore,
SAUDIA Group has been working to train all front-line employees in the areas of Hajj
protocol, crowd management, dealing with crises and responding to emergency plans.
As part of its endeavor to provide pilgrims with comprehensive services and enrich their
travel experience, SAUDIA has updated its in-flight Islamic content including religious
programs, especially those dedicated to raising awareness of Hajj. The updates include
more than 134 hours of various religious programs and 590 hours of Quran recitations, in
addition to many Islamic programs available in several languages such as Arabic, English,
Indonesian, Chinese and other languages spoken by pilgrims. Moreover, SAUDIA’s Inflight
Entertainment system offers a unique collection of educational e-books on how to perform
Hajj and Umrah in more than 14 languages.
SAUDIA Group has also expanded its Hajj season plan activities to include sharing
awareness messages to pilgrims in their languages through the official means in their
countries, Hajj missions, Hajj organisations present in Makkah and Madinah, and across
Hajj residences. In these messages, the company clarifies all matters related to the
pilgrims’ journey, including details related to baggage, its weights and sizes, as well as
mechanisms for accepting it at airports upon departure after the end of the Hajj, in order to facilitate their procedures beyond expectations.