Saudi Arabian Airlines Group has appointed Jaan Albrecht, the former CEO of SunExpress, a Turkish airline based in Antalya, as its new Chief Executive effective January next year.
A veteran with more than 40 years’ experience in the aviation industry, Albrecht, had earlier held the position of CEO at Austrian Airlines and Star Alliance.
In his new role, he will be reporting directly to group’s Director General Saleh Al Jasser.
The new Saudi Arabian management also includes international managers in positions as Chief Finance Officers and Chief Commercial Officers, to further develop the carrier.
Albrecht has spent 28 years at Mexicana Airlines in a number of leadership positions.
In 2001, Albrecht became Star Alliance CEO, managing the growth of the alliance from 10 to 27 member airlines in 25 countries.
He also spent four years as Austrian Airlines’ CEO, managing the successful turnaround of the company.
Welcoming the industry veteran, Jasser said: “Albrecht will be a great addition to Saudia as he leads the airline to further heights as part of our group transformation 2020 strategy. His experience and drive will further enhance Saudia’s position as the premier national airline of the Kingdom.”
Saudia, also known as Saudi Arabian Airlines, is the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah.
The airline’s main operational base is at Jeddah-King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED). Riyadh-King Khalid International Airport (RUH) and Dammam-King Fahd International Airport (DMM) are secondary hubs. The new Dammam airport was opened for commercial use on 28 November 1999. Dhahran International Airport in use until then, has reverted to being used as a military base.
Saudia is the third largest airliner carrier in the Middle East in terms of revenue, behind Emirates and Qatar Airways. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 120 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Domestic and international charter flights are operated, mostly during the Ramadan and the Hajj season.
Saudia is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and joined the SkyTeam airline alliance on 29 May 2012.