SAUDIA and SITAONAIR launch FREE WhatsApp plan for passengers, in first for Middle East
Passengers flying with Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) can now use the WhatsApp messaging app inflight for the first time in the Middle East – and at no cost – thanks to pioneering partners SAUDIA and SITAONAIR.
As of 5 May 2018, passengers flying domestically within Saudi Arabia, as well as a few select international routes, with SAUDIA, will have access to a free WhatsApp service for 10MB of text message usage. This is once again a big step towards a best-in-class passenger experience on board and it allows passengers to stay in contact with their friends and families on the ground.
With its proven connected aircraft service expertise, SITAONAIR was commissioned by SAUDIA to deliver the popular social media application inflight to passengers. This latest advancement once again establishes the airline as a pioneer in both the market, and in advancing inflight connectivity. It also demonstrates SITAONAIR’s flexibility as an airline inflight connectivity expert and partner, in a further evolution of its rich connected aircraft service portfolio of capabilities.
Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Engr. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said: “WhatsApp needs no introduction – it is one of the most popular social media messaging applications in the world, and a favorite of the Middle East. To be now offering WhatsApp as a free service to thousands of passengers every day, truly reflects SAUDIA’s position as the airline carrier for the digital age, and an airline which provides the latest technological advancements onboard. Once more, it is SITAONAIR’s flexible approach and digital harmonization mastery that has enabled us to advance our ambitions, and deliver the inflight connected experience now,”
Continued Eng. Al-Jasser: “SAUDIA, through its Transformation Plan 2020 has been introducing a series of innovations and progressive developments for the comfort and enjoyment of our loyal and valued guests on board. The introduction of this new Free WhatsApp plan is the latest example of the initiatives the airline is offering, to make the travel experience enjoyable, memorable and comfortable.”
SAUDIA flies to 27 domestic airports across the Kingdom and 62 international destinations worldwide.
Dominique El Bez, VP of Strategy, SITAONAIR, says: “With an estimated one billion people globally using WhatsApp, we are very proud to bring considerable value to SAUDIA in making WhatsApp messaging available to its passengers. Our flexibility is a key hallmark of our best-in-class service, and it is through this and our impressive digital integration expertise that we have been able to deliver this tailored, popular service to SAUDIA.”
SITAONAIR’s WhatsApp delivery to SAUDIA follows its 2017 collaboration with the airline to deliver a ‘world-first’ e-ticket solution, enabling First and Business Class passengers to access free inflight Wi-Fi by simply entering their e-ticket code into the portal. It is also testament to SITAONAIR’s digital integration expertise, which has also enabled SAUDIA to deliver special inflight connectivity offers, tailored to specific passenger demographics, by harmonizing SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR service within SAUDIA’s customer relationship management (CRM) systems.