Saudia ‘privatisation’ on schedule

SAUDI Arabian Airlines’ (Saudia) privatisation is progressing well, said Khaled Al-Molhem, Saudia’s director general, this week.
Speaking at the signing of an apparently procedurally important Memorandum of Understanding, Al-Molhem said the core business will be privatised within 24 months by Saudia selling its stake of the carrier to a private consortium.
He also said he expects the maintenance service unit to be privatised by the beginning of 2011 at the latest.
Meanwhile, Saudia Cargo has been privatised by selling 30 per cent of it to Tarabut Air Freight Services.
Whether an airline’s business unit can be said to be privatised when the carrier still owns a majority share is debatable, but Al-Molherm, who oversaw the privatisation of the Saudi Telecom Company before joining Saudia, remains comfortable with how everything is progressing.
“Our privatisation plan is going ahead successfully as planned,” he said.

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