Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) has reported a record level of revenue for 2000. SAA's Director-General Dr. Khalid Bin Bakr announced that revenues have reached SR 19.7 billion [U.S. $ 5.25 billion] so far this year, a 3 percent increase over 1999, and that this figure is expected to double once privatization is implemented. Prices of domestic tickets are stable, he said, in line with directives to provide citizens with a safe and speedy means of transportation.
Identifying the slow pace of training as an obstacle to Saudization, he pointed out that this pace is necessary since the air transport industry requires intensive training for aircraft crews and maintenance staff. He gave assurances, however, that when SAA completes its Saudization program in 2004, nationals will comprise 94 percent of the work force. At the moment the figure is 88 percent.