Saudia Needs 8,000 Maintenance Workers

Oct. 12--JEDDAH -- Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Khaled Al-Mulhem said Tuesday the corporation's maintenance operations over the next eight years would require the recruitment of 8,000 workers.

"The corporation will recruit and train these workers," he said, adding that Saudi Arabian Airlines aims to become the top maintenance service provider in the region.

Al-Mulhem was speaking at the Shoura Council during the council's transportation, communications and information technology committee discussions on the airlines' annual report for fiscal 2011-2012.

He said the Saudi Aviation Engineering & Manufacturing Corporation is in the final stages of preparations for complete privatization, at which point it would achieve a market value of SR 7 billion.

Al-Mulhem was accompanied by a number of corporate officials. He briefed members of the committee on the most significant developments in the corporation including the upgrading of the fleet, saying 58 new airplanes were put into service in the past 30 months.

He said the airline is determined to develop its fleet based on integrated studies on domestic and international air traffic and the specifications and capacity of aircraft.

Al-Mulhem reviewed the most important stages the corporation has gone through successfully in terms of transforming it into a private holding company and the developments in its organizational structure that included the separation of most units, such as the catering unit, for them to be transformed into companies with market value and stocks under the umbrella of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The catering unit had been successfully privatized and became the Saudi Arabian Airlines Catering Company; the freight unit became a company, as well as ground services. The latter was incorporated with a number of national companies and the airline owns 75 percent of it, he said, adding that it achieved profits of SR 550 million.

Copyright 2012 - Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia