Khalid Almolhem, director general at the national carrier, says employees of those business units opened up to private management, will still receive the same pay and privileges.

Almolhem says employees who wish to join one of the new companies will join a new salary scale, subject to approval from the board of directors, but that this will not fall below their current wage. The same applies to those who remain in the publicly-owned sections of the airline. A ministerial committee is to study the financial cost of the new pay structures.

Saudia is close to completing the privatisation of its cargo section, having sold off its catering business in March last year (MEED 9:3:07).

The ground handling unit, technical services and pilot training academy will follow in the coming months.