Saudi government provides national airline with war-risk guarantees
The Saudi government has agreed to provide the national airline with war-risk guarantees to ensure continued operation amid the US-led campaign on terrorism, the carrier's director said Saturday, September 30.
"The Saudi government has provided the necessary guarantees to ensure the continued operation of Saudi Arabian Airlines between the kingdom and the rest of the world," Khalid Bin Bakr said in a statement. The guarantees would enable the Saudi carrier to "weather the difficult conditions currently affecting the air transport industry throughout the world," Bin Bakr added.
Three Gulf carriers — Gulf Air, Emirates and Kuwait Airways — have each put up two billion dollars in guarantees in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks on the United States. State-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines, with a fleet of more than 100 planes, is the Middle East's leading carrier in terms of passenger volume.
London requested a letter of guarantee for third-party coverage by either the company or the government before accepting flights into Britain. A source close to the Saudi airline said Saturday the carrier might impose a surcharge of five dollars on each passenger traveling abroad to cover part of the increased insurance.
Saudi Arabian Airlines might resume flights to the US on October 4 after all flights were suspended following the attacks, the source added. The airline industry is one of the sectors hardest hit by the terror attacks amid a global economic slowdown. World airlines have announced that tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs, profits will evaporate, and fleets and routes will be slashed. ― (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)