Saudi Arabian Airlines Recognizes Technology Investments Crucial to Supporting Region’s Status as Leading Travel Hub

Number of Tourists to Middle East Projected to Double to 136 Million by 2020; Saudi Arabian Airlines Fully Implements SAP Business Solutions Software to Maintain Operational Excellence

DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesThe Middle East region is firmly establishing itself as a hub for travel and tourism with a report from Amadeus* showing that the number of tourists to the region is expected to double from 54 million in 2008 to 136 million by 2020 and that 2 billion people are within a 2.5 hours reach by air from the region.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, established in 1945 and with a fleet of 139 aircrafts today, has recognized the importance of technology investments to maintain and grow its business in line with the travel momentum in the region and has announced the successful implementation of the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business solutions software to ensure best practice across the organization.

Muhammad Ali Albakri, Vice President Information Technology; Saudi Arabian Airlines

“The Middle East is fast becoming a hub for travel with its vibrant, increasingly attractive destinations and significant investment in tourism and hotel projects, and airport development. As such, the need to apply technology for competitive advantage and adapt to emerging trends is clear. SAP ERP provides Saudi Arabian Airlines with the business solutions software to streamline its back-office processes across the entire Group and provides the necessary support/integration to front-line solutions aiming to improve customer services and products, increase revenues, reduce costs and increase efficiencies and productivity. SAP plays an important strategic role in Saudi Arabian Airlines efforts aimed at transforming its Information Technology Division to a Shared Services IT Provider model to aid the airlines in its pursuit of “excellence” and enable the airline’s “TAKE OFF” program to become a World Start Airline,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, Vice President Information Technology at Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The SAP ERP application supports the essential functions of the business processes and operations efficiently, and has been tailored specifically to fit the needs of Saudi Arabian Airlines. The implementation is part of an overall strategic plan aimed at facilitating the airline’s privatization strategies and reacting to market conditions – further driven by the USD $4 trillion announced investment in travel and tourism projects in the Middle East according to Amadeus report.

Abdul-Raheem Bawazeer, Managing Director for SAP in KSA

“As one of the region’s leading companies, Saudi Arabian Airlines’ push to transform its business network and evolve its business model is supported significantly with SAP ERP software. The completed rollout will see improved overall productivity, simplified and integrated processes and improved customer relationship management,” said Abdul-Raheem Bawazeer, Managing Director, SAP KSA.

SAP ERP redefines enterprise resource planning, delivering role-based access to crucial data, applications and analytical tools. Business challenges for the airline industry within areas such as logistics, business intelligence, HR and lifecycle management can be dealt with effectively and efficiently.

Saudi Arabian Airlines needed a unified business and IT infrastructure to drive the transformation of its operations into nine multiple subsidiaries: Saudia Airlines, Saudia Catering, Saudia Cargo, Saudia Ground Services, Saudia Medical Services, Saudi Aerospace & Engineering Industry, -, Prince Sultan Aviation Academy, Saudia Real-estate Development Company, and Saudia Holding. Having extensively vetted various competitive offerings, the airline chose SAP for its industry expertise and the flexible design and open integration of SAP software.

SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software. SAP software assists enterprises and governments around the world to improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration, create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations, and improve access to information. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 32 industries including utilities, high technology, financial services, healthcare, education and public services.

The full Amadeus report can be seen here:

About Saudi Arabian Airlines (
Saudi Arabian Airlines started out in 1945 with a single twin-engine DC-3 (Dakota) HZ-AAX given to King Abdul Aziz as a gift by the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was followed months later with the purchase of two more DC-3s, and these formed the nucleus of what in few years later was to become one of the world’s largest airlines.

Today Saudi Arabian Airlines has some one hundred and thirty-nine (139) aircrafts, including the latest and most advanced wide-bodied jets presently available: B747-400s, B747-300s, B747-100s, B777-200s, Airbus A300-600s, MD-11s and MD90s.

It is our pleasure to list the most important historical highlights of Saudi Arabian Airlines since its establishment until becoming one of the best airlines in the world.