General Manager of Saudia Airlines in Turkey Yarub Al-Madani said yesterday that his company will expand the scope of the special prorate agreement (SPA) between Saudia Airlines and Turkish Airlines (THY). Explaining that they are working very closely with Turkey's national carrier, Al-Madani said they aim to improve cooperation in flight routes beyond Turkey.
Speaking to Turkish broadcaster BloombergHT, Al-Madani said the cooperation will develop the traffic between THY and Saudia Airlines. The agreement, which is expected to be finalized soon, will allow the carriers to enter new markets.
Al-Madani said that Saudia's direct flights from Ankara to Jeddah and Medina by forming the second flight point in Turkey have strengthened its operations in Turkey. "Turkey is one of the most important markets for us. Among our most preferred lines from Turkey are [to] Addis Ababa, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Singapore and Delhi. We have 43 flights per week with Ankara and Istanbul," Al-Madani said, stressing that they have also increased the number of scheduled weekly flights to and from Istanbul from five to 38 in the last four years. "We will arrange extra flights to support our core routes and stations from a global context. We will also be interested in additional demands during this process," he said, adding that during the Ramadan holiday they will have additional flights from Turkey to Saudi Arabia in order to meet extra demand.
Pointing out that relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey are quite good, especially in terms of tourism, Al-Madani said that more than 500,000 pilgrims on the pilgramage to Mecca travel from or through Turkey to Saudi Arabia every year, and that about 700,000 Saudi tourists come to Turkey annually. Al-Madani also said that they aim to have 200 aircraft in their fleet and carry 40 million more passengers by 2020.