Saudia weather emergency plan in place

Over 465 flights were canceled over three days during the recent sandstorm.

Over 465 flights were canceled over three days during the recent sandstorm.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has implemented measures to face potential problems due to weather forecast for the coming days.

The airline put in place early plans for the expected circumstances. It also reviewed and updated its crisis management system following the recent sandstorm witnessed in the region which caused the cancellation or delay of hundreds of flights to and from airports in the Kingdom.

Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director-general of Saudia, said the airliner is in the process of outsourcing weather forecast services to provide the country’s flag carrier with early reports on weather in the Kingdom which will help the company prepare and take the necessary measures.

Al-Jasser told local media that the airline is keen on its personnel participating in the specialized workshop held by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) which aims to reach more decisive solutions and avoid the recurrence of the negative events which happened during the last sandstorm.

He added that the effects of the previous storm spilled over to other airports in the Kingdom and neighboring countries

“More than 465 flights were canceled over three days, a proportion of 35 percent of the total flights, while delayed flights stood at 678, about 44 percent of the total,” said Al-Jasser, adding that 19 flights changed destinations and 94 flights were rescheduled as a result.

He noted that 94 extra flights operated during the situation despite difficulties existing at the airport due to the high number of planes which had been grounded by the storm.

Al-Jasser thanked Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, president of GACA and chairman of the board of directors of Saudia, for holding the specialized workshop titled “The sandstorm and its implications on the air transport industry in the Kingdom.”

He said holding the workshop at this specific time is important to conduct a scientific evaluation and then deliver appropriate recommendations.


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