Riyadh, Monday 31st , October, 2016 (30th, Muharram, 1438)_ A ceremony featuring the attendance of His Highness Prince Dr. Turki Bin Saud Bin Muhammad Al-Saud, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), and His Excellency Mr. Sulaiman A. al-Hamdan, Minister of Transportation and Chairman of the Board Directors of Saudia, was held in Ritz Carlton Hotel, Riyadh to mark the commencement of signing a strategic agreement between Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and (TAQNIA) to provide internet services, voice calling and live television broadcast onboard Saudia aircraft.
In his speech during the ceremony, His Excellence Eng. Saleh N. al-Jasser, Director General of Saudia affirmed that such partnership ushered in a new era of successful achievement of developmental initiatives and comprehensive enhancement plans in accordance with the vision of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives, in order to support the national economy towards sustainable development and to achieve prosperity to the country and citizens, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques _ may God support him, His Highness the Crown Prince and the Deputy Crown Prince, may God Bless them.
Al-Jasser, also, declared that the partnership comes in conjunction with the executive steps of Saudia’s 2020 transformation program, which is being implemented in Saudia, its strategic units and affiliates, and is based on main strategic objective to double in 7 years what has been achieved in 70 years. He emphasized that service enhancement plan is well under way and many initiatives have been achieved.
Al-Jasser stated that in-flight internet and entertainment become a competitive factor in the airline industry and Saudia is scrambling to develop its onboard products. Saudia’s first B777-300 equipped with the ultra-luxurious first-class suites will be delivered soon to offer premium experience to its valued guests. Moreover, “FlyAdeal”, the low-cost carrier, will be launched next year.
Eng. Abdullah al-Osaimi, CEO and president of TAQNIA, gave a speech emphasizing that this privileged partnership with the national carrier would not be achieved without a research infrastructure for the development of satellite science in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology _ the technical partner. He affirmed that TAQNIA is capable of competing with global companies and it will provide high-quality satellite network to offer unique telecommunications onboard service for Saudia’s guests.
Moreover, al-Osaimi announced that implementation of the new inflight connectivity services will start by mid of 2017, and the project will be completed by the end of 2019.