JEDDAH, 25 October — Airline sources in the Kingdom confirmed yesterday that
Arab airlines have been dramatically affected following the Sept. 11 attacks on
the United States, sometimes dropping by as much as 50 to 80 percent.
The most affected airlines were those operating between the Middle East and
the US, Canada and Europe.
Saudia reduced its scheduled flights to the US to 4 flights a week, as nearly
50 percent of reservations were canceled — mostly by Saudi businessmen, students
and those traveling for medical treatment.
In addition, Egypt Air canceled flights scheduled for New York and Los
Angels, but only temporarily. However, Royal Air Maroc initially stopped flying
to the US, but resumed operations on a lower scale.
A number of airlines agreed to develop a mechanism that would help boost
operations. Saudia is concentrating on internal flights and the Umrah and Haj,
especially as the holy month of Ramadan is only weeks away.
EgyptAir set up a plan to integrate some airlines that experienced a sharp
decline in operations, especially those operating between the Kingdom and Egypt
that represent the largest segment of operations for both airlines.