Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) announced the launch of a new independent entity within the Saudia Group, Saudi Arabian Logistics (SAL) Co., to take over ground handling and logistics services across Saudi Arabian airports.
The new logistics entity will begin operating in January, and is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to reform and diversify the country’s oil-dependent economy, according to a statement from the Saudi Group. With the receipt of its GACAR 151 license from the General Authority of Civil Aviation, SAL is officially licensed to provide ground-handling services at King Khalid International Airport’s (RUH’s) cargo station.
“[SAL] acts as a link between land and sea shipping and the Saudi airports in line with the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, which is one of the pivotal themes of the Vision 2030, especially in the light of the gigantic economic transformation the Kingdom has been seeing,” said SAL CEO Omar Talal Hariri in the statement on SAL’s launch.
“SAL will improve the quality of logistics operations and support the Kingdom’s vision towards transforming the country into a global logistics hub handling all types of cargo and shipping operations,” Hariri added. Specifically, SAL has the strategic goal of building Saudi Arabia as a logistics gateway on trade routes between Asia, Europe and Africa.
Previously, ground handling services fell under the Saudia Cargo division, which will still manage cargo services aboard Saudia’s fleet of passenger and freighter aircraft. With more than 1 billion freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) of cargo traffic reported for 2018, Saudi Arabian Airlines climbed six spots in the Air Cargo World ranking of the world’s top cargo carriers for 2018, to No. 42.