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Minutes of meeting
 

Minutes of Meeting Between
On Electronic Path System
26/5/1436H – 17/3/2015G – Jeddah

A meeting was held on Tuesday 26/5/1436H – 17/3/2015G at Jeddah Hilton Hotel to discuss the Electronic Path System for Hajj season 1436H The meeting was attended by representatives from Ministry of Hajj Affairs, GACA, and Board of Airlines Representatives (BARSA).
In the beginning of the meeting Mr. Ayman Omair, BARSA Vice Chairman welcomed all participants to the meeting to discuss this important subject. The following deliberations took place:
 

  1. Presentation from Ministry of Hajj:
    H.E. Dr. Eisa Rawas, Deputy Minsiter of Hajj for Umrah Affairs, made a presentation regarding the basic idea and purpose of the E-Path system. Main highlights of the presentation included the following:
    • The E-Path project is a grand project emanating from the directives of the Council of Ministers to transform all procedures and services offered to the pilgrims from manual to electronic system, with the aim of providing easy and convenient services to the Guests of Allah Almighty.
    • The aim of introducing the system to follow electronic systems in dealing with all 5 stages of Hajj procedures and services, namely: (i) transportation from home countries (ii) accommodation in Makkah Almukarramah (iii) accommodation in Al-Madinah Almunawarah (iv) Land transportation (iv) Food services to the pilgrims.
    • The new E-path system considers the air transport stage as the prime and most important stage upon which others steps are based, hence it is given the priority before designing other stages. So airlines shall start with designing their schedules submit them for approval of slots from GACA. The approved schedules will be entered in the system so that the whole package of services provided to Pilgrims can be designed on the basis of schedules showing dates of arrival of departures.
    • To help airlines in this stage, a tentative schedule could be designed at the beginning which could be amended and approved by GACA in the system. Once the schedules are approved and entered to the system, Hajj organizers will approach airlines to make necessary contracts regarding the booking on the desired dates, and hence design the other package elements of housing, food for the pilgrims whose names are sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain visas for them form the Saudi diplomatic missions abroad.
    • Airlines could rely on the schedules of the previous year as tentative schedule to be submitted to GACA for approval after any modifications needed.
    • For the Hajj season of the current year (1436H), airlines are requested to submit their tentative flight schedules by the end of Jumadah II 1436H, to GACA for necessary approval.
    • The system will contain all the pertinent rules and regulations issued by concerned Government departments to be followed by concerned parties which will be issued usernames and passwords to access the system. The system is provided with perfect information security requirements.
    • KAIA has kindly provided a location at the airport assigned to E-Path project. Airlines representative may visit the location for further information and training on the system.
  2. Presentation from the Project Consultant:
    A detailed presentation on the technical aspects of the system was provided by Dr. Emran Badaneh, project consultant. The presentation described the process to be followed by all stakeholders involved (Ministry of Hajj affairs, GACA, Hajj Organizers and Airlines). Below are main the highlights of the presentation:
    • Once the airlines approved scheduled are fed in the system, Hajj Organizers shall approach airlines through the system for booking following the mechanism of E-bulk ticketing. This means that Organizers will book the number of their assigned quotas on the required dates shown on the schedule, and buy tickets in bulk as names of passengers are not known at this stage.
    • Hajj organizers shall be notified by the airlines about the approval of their booking seats request.
    • Hajj Organizers shall effect payment to the airline electronically (through e-payment system) from the IBAN accounts assigned to each organizer at SAMBA bank under the umbrella of the United Agents Office. A confirmation of payment will be sent from the bank to the airline to make the booking and issue the tickets.
    • Based on booking confirmation, Organizations shall proceed with contracting for the package depending on the dates of inbound and outbound flight dates.
    • To ensure necessary flexibility, the system allows modifications through an interface created in the Unified System between the airline and the organizer, if the desirable dates or space is not found. Such modifications will be subject to the approval of GACA.
  3. Queries and remarks:
    Various Queries and remarks have been raised from the participants to which Dr. Eisa Rawas responded, these include the following:
    • GACA and KAIA stressed on the importance of distributing of flights throughout the Hajj period to avoid concentration of flights on certain days. The implementation of the system itself will help achieving this goal.
    • The e-path system is a unified system that applies to types of pilgrims according to the rules of regulations issued.
    • Some BARSA members expressed concerns about the need to make some changes due to reasons out of control. Dr. Eisa responded that the same procedures are followed since there are no change in rules, and only the processes are done electronically. The system is flexible to deal with exceptional circumstances within reasonable limits.
    • To ensure successful implementation of the project, airlines are advised to start preparations as soon as possible so that the tentative schedules will ready by the end of Jumdah II 1436.
    • Airlines representatives requested GACA and the Ministry of Hajj to provide them with an official written full description of the E-Path system and all the steps required from airlines in order to send it to their Head offices for information and necessary implementation.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Ayman Omair, BARSA Vice Chairman, thanked all participants to the meeting, saying that another meeting may be called for, for further discussion/clarification of the project as required, in order to ensure successful implementation. 

 

 

MINUTES OF BARSA MEETING
HELD AT JEDDAH MERIDIEN HOTEL
ON 7 MARCH 2010G
(21/3/1431H)

The Board of Airlines Representatives in Sadui Arabia (BARSA) held its meeting on 7 March 2010 at Jeddah Meridian Hotel, chaired by Mr. Ayman Omairi– Vice Chairman of the Board on behalf of Mr. Abdulaziz Alhazmi – Chairman of the Board – who was unable to attend the meeting due to urgent unforeseen commitment. Dr. Ayed Al-Amri, Secretary General of the Board later chaired the meeting due to urgent commitment of Mr. Omairi.
Mr. Aymen Omari opened the meeting by thanking the attendees and welcoming the representatives of Dammam Airport, IATA and the airlines who newly joined the Board. After a minor alteration in the order of the agenda items, the following deliberations took place.
 

  1. GACA NEW INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING AIRLINES SPONSORSHIP:
    The meeting discussed the regulations recently circulated by GACA regarding the issue of sponsorship in Saudi Arabia, affecting commercial registration and the commercial titles of operating airlines specially those operating under GSA, following the recent developments after which GSA's now come under the purview of the Higher Commission for Tourism while airlines are still supervised by GACA.. The issue has been listed in the agenda items upon the request of GACA which has proposed the subject to be formally addressed at this BARSA meeting, requesting all airlines operating in the Kingdom to abide by the regulations and take necessary actions accordingly through the Chamber of Commerce. Inspectors form the Authority will make field visits to ensure that the regulations are properly implemented by all airlines, and GACA expressed its readiness to offer any clarifications or assistance needed by the airlines for implementing the new instructions.
  2. PPMDC CONTRACT AT KAIA:
    The Chairman of the meeting gave a brief highlight on the status of the contract between PPMDC and the airlines operating at KAIA, stating that several meetings were held with PPMDC, some of which in the presence of representatives from GACA, in which the company was advised of the reservations on the proposed contract, as reflected in the feedback received from airlines head offices. While PPMD asserted that the rates mentioned in the contract are fixed and are not subject to change, the AOC informed PPMD that there are other points of dispute in various aspects of the contract such as the bank guarantee and the conditions of payments. Airlines were particularly concerned with the clause requiring payments to be settled as received in the invoices, then objections may be raised later, contrary to the previous normal procedure which enables airlines to object within 15 days and then settle the adjusted invoice accordingly. Another point of concern conveyed to the Company regarding the payments of fines imposed due to delays, as airlines should not be liable to payments resulting from delays for which the airline is not responsible, therefore, a report should be jointly signed indicating the reason of the delay. BARSA will follow up the matter with PPMDC, under advice to GACA, in order to finalize the contract as soon as possible. Airlines representatives raised some other points to be discussed with PPMD, including double charging, parking fees and considering acknowledgements date rather than invoice date for the invoices received by couriers. All these pending points will be discussed with PPMD in the coming meetings, under the supervision of GACA, in order to settle them as soon as possible and avoid further delay in finalizing the contract.
  3. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS OF StB W/G AND PRESENTATION ON CUSS ACTIVIATION:
    Upon request from the meeting chairman, Dr. Ayed Al-Amri presented a brief review of the StB initiative launched by IATA two years ago with the aim of realizing simple and fast travel at lower cost for airlines, showing that airlines have already started to reap the benefits of the projects so far implemented, particularly the e-ticking project which was successfully implemented, saving the airlines a lot of cost. With the cooperation of IATA and GACA, BARSA has formed a W/G to follow up the project and speed up its implementation. Dr. Al-Amri stated the positive experience of Saudi Airlines in implementing the (Self Service Machines) project in the Kingdom and its positive results both for the passenger and the airlines. Other parts of the project are now under implementation including the Bar Code Boarding Passes (BCBP), E-freight, Radio Frequency ID, which require full cooperation from all parties involved to enjoy the benefits of these projects. He extended thanks to IATA for their assistance and also to GACA which is keen to achieve successful implementation of the project.
    Eng. Abdulmohsen Alshaikh, Director of Operations at KFIA was invited to address the attendees on the progress of implementation of the CUSS project at KFIA which was selected as a pilot airport for the project. He went through the stages of implementing the project at the airport and the steps so far made, calling for operating airlines to extend maximum cooperation. Also a presentation was made by Mr. Su Chun Yang, Director of Operations Improvement at KAIA, in which he highlighted the traffic growth witnessed by the airport and the number and distribution of the CUSS machines at the airport, referring to the operational considerations of the project which is operated using SITA platform. He stressed the need for airlines cooperation to further push the project on areas such as back-up counters and visa verifications, in addition to educating and encouraging the passengers to use the CUSS.
    Dr. Ayed Al-Amri thanked Eng. Alshaikh and Mr. Yang for their valuable illustration of KFIA experience, emphasizing the need for airline representatives to contact their head offices to obtain support for the project which should be viewed as a real investment and not a cost, stating that the airlines which join earlier will get more benefits in terms of location , publicity, etc. He invited all airlines representatives to share their knowledge and experiences and participate in enriching the field and upgrade the level of performance. He also suggested that representatives from RUH and JED airports to be invited to learn about the status of the project and evaluate its benefits.
  4. HIGHLIGHT OF IATA EXPERT PRESENTATION ON BAGGAGE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM:
    Dr. Ayed Al-Amri briefed the attendees on the progress of this important project launched by IATA within the StB initiative, referring to the visit made by IATA expert to the three airports in RUH/JED/DMM and resulting reports. He thanked Mr. Naser Alsati, IATA Country Manager KSA/Yemen and invited him to address the audience on the subject. Mr. Alsati started by emphasizing the role of the StB project which in fact has been originally approved and launched by the airlines themselves as represented in the IATA AGM and Board of Governors which are comprised of airlines. He gave detailed description of the joint cooperation between IATA and the StB W/G of BARSA in regard to fast travel project . Mr. Alsati made a visual presentation on the Baggage Improvement Program currently implemented by IATA , stating that KSA airports were fortunate to be among 200 international airports selected for a field visit by an expert from IATA to diagnose the exiting problems and offer solutions. He reviewed the salient features of the expert's report and the solution toolkit he provided which comprised of 66 solutions leading to considerable reduction in baggage mishandling, stating that hopefully most of the problems will disappear by the end of this year. The results of the report can be made available for airlines which are needed to offer maximum support and cooperation to the project and provide required data to reduce baggage mishandling and save a lot of cost. Also GACA should be aware of the report findings.
    Mr. Naser Alsati concluded his presentation by asserting that airlines should review the targets of the projects of StB for the year 2010 and exert maximum effort to push for successful implementation.
  5. 1430H Haj Season Feedback by JED AOC Chairman:
    Mr. Shuja Pasha (AF) Chairman of the JED AOC, presented a detailed report on the outcomes of the last 1430H Haj season operations. The report listed the major problems still faced in the last season on top of which comes the shortage of bays which were drastically reduced to (18) bays only, creating a real problem to operating airlines in terms of number and distribution. The report also referred to the need to improve the professional attitude of PPMDC staff who have demonstrated lower level of efficiency compared to the situation when GACA staff were handling operation. A third drawback listed in the report was concerning restrictions of entry and exit faced by airlines staff at the gates due to shortage of security personnel. The report also referred to other problems faced in the Hajj season such shortages of buses, porters, delays due to unavailability of security staff, lack of coordination between agencies, etc. Mr. Pasha concluded that, though some improvement have been seen in the new terminal in certain aspects, however a lot of work needs to be done, particularly in the field of increasing the number of bays and aprons. He called for cooperation between all parties involved to improve the situation in future..
    Dr. Ayed Al-Amri commented on the AOC report stating that serious points are mentioned in the report that really raise concern. He emphasized the fact that serving Hajjees represents the prime and noble mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to which the country deploys all its resources. He stressed that all these concerns will be communicated to the concerned parties for necessary solution, and that for this purposes a special committee will be formed within BARSA to tackle such issues.
    The presentation of the AOC report was followed by in depth discussion on the experiences of airlines during the last Hajj season operation. The points of concern raised by representatives of airlines included the following issues:
      - Pax stranded at Makka and AL-Madina and refused to be released due to the flight not shown on the system.
      - Crew traveling from Madinah are required by Passport Authorities to be accompanied by one of the staff.
      - Unavailability of medical lifts due to monopoly by the contractor.
      - Location and functioning of fuel pumps at the airport.
      - Need to issue clear instructions regarding handling of visit visas during Hajj season well before the season.
    JED AOC Chairman responded that all the points raised will be studies and discussed with the concerned authorities for quick resolution.
    Dr. Ayed Al-Amri raised the point of the importance of encouraging GACA to develop certain KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) as a tool of measuring PPMDC performance and enabling accountability. He also mentioned the need to solicit the Hajjee feedback, through a survey, and let his voice be heard to help tackling the problems faced.
  6. PROPOSED NEW POLICIES AND Procedure FOR BARSA:
    Dr. Ayed Al-Amri informed the attendees about the efforts taken to improve the level of performance at BARSA and make it more active in discharging its role and objectives. Several meetings were held in this respect which materialized in the proposal of formulating the following two subcommittees in BARSA.:
     1. Subcommittee for GACA-BARSA Affairs: which will be responsible for handling all the affairs pertaining to the relationship with GACA as our main partner of BARSA. The Subcommittee will undertake necessary arrangements to conduct regular meetings with GACA to discuss and settle issues of mutual interest.
     2. Hajj and Umrah Subcommittee: which will be responsible for handling all the affairs pertaining to the Hajj and Umrah operations with the aim of serving the interests of member airlines and solving operational problems faced. The subcommittee will be responsible for arranging the annual meetings of Hajj operation and also the annual meetings of Umrah which are planned to be initiated in the near future. The formation of this subcommittee is expected to help in solving the operational problems mentioned in the AOC report.
    The two subcommittees will be open for voluntary contribution of all BARSA, and airlines will be represented in accordance with level and type of operation. The objectives, tasks and mode operand of the subcommittees will be governed by the Charters to be developed.
    Another aspect of development in BARSA concerns the activation of joint work in the field of cargo which has been somewhat neglected so far. Also BARSA plans to enhance the social side through arranging social events and invite concerned government authorities to attend, distribute awards and souvenirs, arrange social welcoming and farewell ceremonies for members, etc. Also the Secretariat of the Board will launch a campaign to develop and upgrade the website of BARSA. Finally, BARSA Secretariat presents the idea of organizing a periodical professional tour by members to selected international facilities of related nature with the aim to exchange experiences, enhance networking and increase awareness of world industry standards and benchmarking . A proposal in this regard will be shortly distributed to members for their feedback, comment and approval.
  7. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES:
    Mr. Ahmad Aledresi – BARSA Treasurer – pointed out that some airlines still did not pay their dues of the annual membership fees and encourage them to expedite payment to allow BARSA undertake its duties and responsibilities. He also requested airlines to deposit their membership fees to BARSA account directly,
    BARSA members inquired about the annual budget of BARSA and Mr. Aledresi replied that the final accounts for the year 2009 have been finalized and will be distributed to members.
    Responding to a query from LH, Dr. Ayed Al-Amri stated that the minutes of BARSA meeting are usually sent to the attendees via email, and also uploaded in BARSA website. The Board Secretariat will review and update members' email addresses to ensure that all members receive the minutes.
    The next meeting will be called for in due time to be held within the next two months, prior to the coming Summer season preparations.
The meeting was concluded at 13.00 PM.

Reviewed By:
______________
Dr. Ayed Al-Amri
BARSA General Secretary

Approved By:
_______________
Mr. Ayman Omairi
BARSA Vice Chairman

MINUTES OF BARSA MEETING #222
HELD AT JEDDAH HILTON HOTEL
ON 03 OCTOBER 2005 (29 SHA'BAN 1426H)

On behalf of BARSA Chairman Dr Omar Jefri who was indisposed to attend the meeting due to other unforeseen commitments, BARSA General Secretary Dr Ayed Al-Amri  opened the meeting, introduced the new members from EK, ET, GF, IY and WY, welcomed the participants and touched upon the major agenda items for discussion. 

The following deliberations took place: 

1.

FUEL SURCHARGE

This subject was recognized as a very important element impacting contemporary airline business.  QR suggested all airlines to increase and apply fuel surcharge at USD 30-40 level and requested BARSA, as a forum with full coverage of airlines operating in KSA, to make a general recommendation.  GF suggested that region-wise fuel surcharge should be introduced and monitored for making timely changes. RJ stated that they are charging USD 25 per ticket and not based on region/destination, and recommended to have a subcommittee to study this subject and come up with a joint proposal.  EK opined that this subject is apt to be discussed under the purview of the YIC for uniform implementation and was accepted as the modus operandi for dealing with this matter will be discussed in the next YIC meeting scheduled after Ramadan.AF queried about the status of fuel surcharge for cargo and Mr Saud Arab of SV responded that the matter was discussed by the YIC and a recent increase of SAR 0.20 was made to reach the level SAR 0.65 in total.   He observed that unfortunately no uniform application is observed in the market. 

2.

AIRPORT FACILITY FOR UMRAH & HAJJ

QR, observing that the new extension at the South Terminal eased the pressure for SV, asked whether there is a similar plan for North Terminal used by the other airlines as it is being suffocated during Ramadan and Hajj due to congestion of traffic. Prompted by Dr Ayed, the AOC Chairman responded on this issue.  The new master plan for KAIA with one combined terminal for SV and other airlines will take into account the recommendations for facilities improvement made by BARSA/AOC in the joint meeting with the authorities(copy of minutes distributed to the participants).  In the meantime, the Airport Authority has agreed to open all the 8 bays for Umrah passengers.  Bus shortage will be relieved by introducing 5 new buses.  Another batch of 10 buses will be deployed within 90 days for helping the Hajj movement. He advised each airline to preplan for projected requirement through the respective handling agent for the use of remote areas.

 

3.

KAIA EXPANSION PROJECT COMMITTEE

Dr Ayed stated that a BARSA team was formed, based on PCA request, to participate in the planning stage of KAIA expansion project and it was agreed to make a presentation on this subject in the next meeting.

 

4.

CARGO SECURITY PROCESS

Mr Saud Arab of SV thanked the airline representatives for raising this issue which is a crucial problem faced at the airport.  He explained that the volume of business necessitates extra screening work to screen all cargo without exception as per airport security regulations.  He added that the meeting envisaged to discuss this problem with the authorities could not materialize. 

SQ stated that this problem is already a few months old.  The two options given were to screen all cargo or keep for 24 hours, with no facility or resource for implementation of these procedures. 

EK said that the problem is acute because there is only one screening machine and asked whether all the airlines should join together to provide the extra screening machines.   Dr Ayed responded that the airlines are not expected to provide screening machines for passengers or cargo and it is the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authorities to whom SV has already written and their reply is awaited. 

QR observed that SV Cargo Handling is keeping post-screened cargo also in the open and commented that as SV has the monopoly on cargo handling, SV should take the initiative for having more screening machines as in the case of handling agents who provide them at the Hajj Terminal. QR pointed out the live stock shipments also cause problems.  SV responded that cargo on airside is open but in secure area.  SV added that the options of keeping cargo for 24 hours or airlines jointly purchasing screening machines will be taken up again with the authorities for their acceptance. 

JED AOC Chairman Mr Ahmed Sheriff highlighted some complaints and requirements from 23 carriers' Station Managers about SV cargo handling standards and facilities which SV noted and promised to strive for viable solutions.

 

5.

AOC FEEDBACK

RUH AOC Chairman reported good coordination with the authorities for problem-solving, facing no serious setbacks. JED AOC Chairman reported of raising 11 items (copied to BARSA) and their being quickly actioned within a week due to good rapport with the new Airport Director and his follow-up.

 

6.

PCA PRESENTATION ON HAJJ 1426H (2005/2006G)

Dr Ayed welcomed the PCA delegation, introduced the participants and invited them to make the presentation on the new system for Hajj flights clearance effective Hajj l426H (2005/2006G) season. The PCA delegation thanked BARSA for providing this opportunity and made a detailed presentation on their new web-enabled HCPS (Hajj Clearance Proceeding System) laying down step-by-step procedure for obtaining clearance for Hajj flights. The new system has the main objective of reducing the time taken for Hajj flights approvals while ascertaining compliance with the relevant rules and regulations on a first-come first-served basis.  The deadline for application is 22 October 2005 (19 Ramadan 1426H) for Hajj 1426H. Following the presentation, clarifications were made on participants' queries on the new system (a copy of the presentation will be put on the BARSA website).  

Mr Ahmed Hantoush from PCA stressed the importance of bank guarantee for clearance of Hajj flights. The airline representatives brought up their experience of levying fines for flight-delays caused by the lack of facilities available for handling huge traffic flow and no fault of theirs.  Mr Hantoush said that specific cases could be appealed for review. 

7.

SUBSCRIPTION DUES

The BARSA Treasurer Mr Abdo Abi Allam requested all defaulting member airlines to promptly pay their subscription dues in order to facilitate BARSA activities for common good. 

 


MINUTES OF BARSA MEETING # 221
HELD AT JEDDAH HILTON HOTEL
ON 03 APRIL 2005(24 SAFAR 1426H)
 

On behalf of BARSA Chairman Dr Omar Jefri who could not attend the meeting due to unforeseen circumstances, BARSA General Secretary Dr Ayed Al-Amri opened the meeting, welcomed the participants and introduced the major agenda items for discussion. 

The following discussions took place: 

1.

FEEDBACK ON GCC BAR CHAIRMEN'S MEETINGS

 

Mr Mohammed H. Sharif and Dr Ayed Al-Amri gave feedback on the 1st (held in Jeddah) and 2nd (held in Kuwait) GCC BAR Chairmen's meetings which proved to be a very useful window for improving communication. Yield improvement, pricing, IATA Agent's commission, avenues for regional cooperation etc were discussed.  Oman and Bahrain are the only two GCC countries applying 5% IATA Agents' commission and hence there is a long way to go in this direction. It was recommended that all should go to 5% by December 2005.  AACO plans to have 0% by 2010.  AF has already implemented 0% by 01 April 2005.  Unification of taxes by the Tariffs Committee was recommended.  The next meeting will be held in Bahrain in September 2005.

 

2.

BSP LINK IN KSA

Mr Akram Farhat of SV gave a detailed presentation on the status of this subject (copy attached as well as put on the BARSA Website under Circulars' link). BARSA encourages all airlines and their agents to join BSP for their benefit as well as that of the airline community as a whole.

 

3.

E-TICKETING

Mr Farhat also briefed the attendees on the importance of e-ticketing which will be implemented in BSP by December 2005.  As such, the airlines should be ready with their internal infrastructural modifications for migrating to e-ticketing.  Mr Farhat also answered queries on training and the role of CRSs in e-ticketing.  Dr Al-Amri stated that BARSA could be a forum for exchanging experience on e-ticketing procedure and evaluating its impact and effectiveness.

 

4.

IMPLEMENTATION OF CASS IN KSA

Mr Saud Arab of SV gave a brief on the status of implementation of CASS (Cargo Accounts Settlement System) in Saudi Arabia.  Full implementation was accomplished by 16 March 2005 with only 10 airlines participating at present.  Many presentations were made for airlines as well as IATA and non-IATA agents for creating awareness. 

CASS benefits the airlines through improved cash-flow by prompt payments.  Valuable reports are generated with a lot of relevant information.  CASS also accomplishes unification of policies, forms and procedures.  BARSA encouraged all airlines to join CASS to reap benefits individually and collectively. 
 

5.

AOC FEEDBACK

 

Mr Ahmed Sheriff (JED AOC Chairman) and Mr Ahmed M. Alzahrani (RUH AOC Chairman) briefed the gathering on problems, activities and outcomes in various facets of airport operation, answered queries from participants and took note of comments and suggestions for betterment.

 

6.

YIC FEEDBACK

Mr Mohammed Ali Assiri of SV briefed the attendees on the status of YIC activities and announced that YIC meetings will be held in April in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam for addressing all concerned issues and requested attendance. 

WY suggested that discussions should lead to constructive decisions that will make a positive impact in the market. QR said that the national carrier should lead the YIC initiative and pointed out that yields have gone down by nearly half from 1999 to 2005, and playing around with baggage allowance is a significant malpractice. AF suggested every airline should follow the IATA rules on baggage allowance and was supported by EK. GF announced their plan to follow IATA free baggage allowance regulations i.e. 40 Kg for First, 30 Kg for Business and 20 Kg for Economy classes effective 15 May 2005 to all destinations operated by GF and requested all airlines to follow suit. 

Dr Al-Amri pointed out that short term solutions adopted by the YIC might have caused problems in the long term and suggested comprehensive discussion in the YIC meetings to close all gaps.

 

7.

BARSA FEEBACK QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS

Dr Ayed Al-Amri gave a presentation on the results of the feedback questionnaire distributed earlier in 2004.  It was observed that many of the suggestions for improvement like the joint GCC BAR Chairmen's meeting have already been implemented.  This feature of evaluation of the effectiveness of BARSA and its continuous improvement through feedback will be maintained through periodic questionnaires to the participants.

 

8.

BARSA SUBSCRIPTION DUES

Only 15 member airlines have hitherto paid their subscriptions.  All the others were requested to expedite payment for supporting the BARSA activities.

 

9.

NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held in the first week of June 2005.

 

The meeting was held in a very congenial atmosphere and was closed with a prayer/lunch break.

 

 

FIRST MEETING OF CHAIRMEN
OF GCC BOARD OF AIRLINES REPRESENTATIVES

The first meeting of the Chairmen of the Gulf Cooperation Council Boards of Airlines Representatives was held at the Jeddah Hilton on 05 Shaban 1425 (19 September 2004).
In attendance were :

Dr Omar Jefri Chairman of BARSA in KSA
Mr Dawoud Al-Dawoud Chairman of BAR in KWI
Mr Mahroos Al-Harthy Chairman of BAR in BAH
Mr Hamad Al-Obaidallah Chairman of BAR in DXB
Mr Khalifa Alrayes Chairman of BAR in AUH
Mr Jaffar Joma Chairman of BAR in OMAN
Mr Baudemont Stevenson BAR Representative in Qatar
Mr Hamza Sharif Vice Chairman BARSA in KSA
Dr Ayed Al-Amri General Secretary BARSA in KSA
Mr Muteb Al-Ajami Sr Mgr Kuwait Airways in KSA
Mr Mohammed Al-Falasi Regional Mgr Emirates in KSA
Mr Saud Irqsous Sr Mgr Pricing & Tariffs (Pax) Saudia Airlines
Mr Fahad Al-Sabhani Asst General Secretary BARSA in KSA

Dr Jefri welcomed the distinguished participants and wished them a pleasant stay in Saudi Arabia.
Dr Jefri declared the goals of this meeting as mutual benefit and exchange of common experience for arriving at a unified standard for the airlines operating in the GCC. After introductions and greetings the discussion of the topics suggested by the chairmen followed.
The following recommendations were adopted :

  1. Reduction of IATA Agents Commission:
    The participants agreed to reduce the Commission to 5% within the GCC following the global industry trend. Bahrain's initiative to reduce the commission to 5% effective 15 October 2004 was supported by the Chairmen and suggested Oman, UAE and Qatar to follow suit. Likewise it was suggested to study the possibility of following this lead for passengers from KSA to GCC countries.

  2. Yield Improvement Committee:
    The participants agreed on the following :
    i) To study and implement the mechanism for yield improvement in the GCC market and make recommendations for progress including the problems of variable baggage allowance and focussing on some small carriers causing disturbance of fares in the market, in the next meeting.

    ii) The suggestion of SV to adopt common minimum fares for different sectors under approval from the GCC Civil Aviation Departments so that no airline will go below this level, especially the small carriers, to protect safety and service level from deterioration. This step also would help yield improvement.

  3. Low Fare on Low Cost Carriers (LCC):
    As some of the LCCs are national carriers, they cannot be stopped from operation and hence the participants agreed to study the steps to be adopted to prevent their negative impact and make the best procedure to deal with them.

  4. Passive Segments Bookings and Noshows:
    The participants appreciated the initiatives already taken by BARSA for dealing with passive segments booking abuse by the agents which has resulted in positive improvement of yield and the SV experience in dealing with noshows for decreasing its level helping more passengers gain seats for travel. However, other carriers need to study the SV initiative and adopt similar measures.

  5. Insurance and Fuel Surcharge:
    The participants agreed to make uniform policy for such surcharges to be applied within the GCC and discuss in the next meeting.

  6. IATA Published Fare:
    KU suggestion to make the IATA Published Fare as the official fare was agreed upon by the participants, as this procedure is adopted already by some countries within the GCC.

  7. Next Meeting:
    KU welcomed the next meeting to be held and hosted by them in Kuwait in the last week of February 2005, to which the participants agreed.


 

MINUTES OF BARSA MEETING # 219
HELD AT SAUDIA CLUB, KHALIDIYYAH, JEDDAH
ON 19 MAY 2004 (30 R. AWAL 1425)

BARSA Vice Chairman Mr Hamza Mohammed Sharif opened the meeting on behalf of BARSA Chairman Dr Jefri who was indisposed due to unforeseen commitments and welcomed the participants (list appended). He accorded a special welcome of induction to the new representatives from AI, BA, B8, ET, GF, QR and SQ.
Discussions on the agenda items followed :

  1. FUEL SURCHARGE
    PK informed that they are applying fuel surcharge in the USD 3.00 – 10.00 range depending upon destination. RJ applies uniform rate for all destinations. BA applies USD 4.00 per sector. KU is not applying currently, but will follow suit. GF will commence application effective 01 June 2004.
    WY commented that this subject should be thoroughly discussed on the floor to evolve consensus for uniform application by all airlines. SV also supports uniform implementation. BARSA Vice Chairman Mr Sharif said that 5% jet fuel cost increase effective October 2003 justifies the uniform application of fuel surcharge by all airlines.
    RJ queried whether a directive from BARSA will follow specifying the criteria for application to which Mr Sharif responded that the BARSA Chairman will be consulted on this matter.

     

  2. NOSHOW PENALTY
    PK applies SAR 50 for low season and SAR 200 for high season. SV started applying effective 01 May 2004 on the travel agencies rather than individual passengers and is showing positive impact as reported by the Yield Management Department. PK added that they are applying to the passengers and agencies depending upon who is responsible for the event of generating noshows. PK suggested that noshow penalty could be filed with the PCA for the legality of application. AI is not currently applying the noshow penalty. AF feels that as SV has the highest market share of passengers KSA-wide and the resultant better experience, SV should take the lead as the national carrier.
    Dr Al-Amri invited comments from the floor as to whether the matter should be left to the individual airlines or be tackled by BARSA. AF prefers a general resolution with room for flexibility as leaving to the individual airlines would result in unfair competition. PK feels that the matter should be left to the individual airlines as a matter of flexible application, as even the extent of noshows experienced by different airlines are different.
     

  3. STATUS OF REDUCTION OF IATA COMMISSION
    Dr Al-Amri acknowledged that the industry trend is to reduce the commission from 7-5%, but SV as the national carrier of KSA is barred from application of any further reduction from 7% until further notice from the concerned government agency. The travel agencies' resentment triggered by the earlier reduction from 9-7% and their collective representation to the government has imposed this constraint on SV. As such, the matter has to be left to the individual airlines and will be under observation.
    PK plans to implement 5% from 01 July 2004. AF said that the French market will go for the reduction soon and would like to apply to all AF markets and hence suggests a workshop or subcommittee to study the issue as it cannot be implemented in isolation. BA informed that their Bahrain experience is supportive of moving to 5% but for GF's inability to apply the same within the GCC. MS is supportive of reduction in general, but the 7-5 reduction is not yet applied in Egypt. RJ has been applying 5% in Jordan for over a year.
    The consensus was that communication and mutual understanding between airlines and travel agencies should precede to generate a conducive atmosphere for further reduction, as about 65% of the traffic is still generated by the travel agencies. The airlines do not have enough margin to sustain the higher commission payment to the travel agencies and at the same time, the agencies' revenues will not be significantly affected by the reduction, as most of the commission is passed on to the passengers for competitive edge.

     

  4. PASSIVE SEGMENTS BOOKING
    Mr Abdo Abi Allam (AF) Chairman of the subcommittee stated that the increase in GDS costs makes passive segments booking a critical financial issue for airlines. After the awareness seminars conducted in JED, RUH and DMM, it was decided as the next step that each airline will monitor the agency activities in order to reduce the costs related to passive segments booking.
    SQ, MH, GA, GF and AI are charging the agents based on the results of monitoring by the Head Offices. PK stated that they are not facing this problem as they pulled out from GDSs on account of this problem and hoped that they would be able to revert to GDSs once the clean-up is effective.
    GF stated that GDSs are not willing to waive payments in lieu of passive segments booking; rather they are encouraging agents to increase passive segments booking through incentives. MH urged that all airlines should take up this issue with their agents; otherwise the silent ones will be left to bear the brunt of enhanced abuse by travel agents.
    AF will take the lead in charting follow-up actions through the subcommittee which will meet soon for this purpose.

     

  5. YIC ACTIVITIES
    Mr Saud Irgsous (SV) gave a briefing on the YIC activities and meetings held after the last BARSA meeting and announced the schedule of forthcoming YIC meetings.
    BARSA Vice Chairman urged the participation of higher level management like Sales Managers and Country Managers rather than other staff without decision-making authority.

     

  6. SAUDIZATION OF TRAVEL MARKET IN KSA
    GF brought up the topic of Saudization of travel market by 35% as a government requirement and elaborated that the Chamber of Commerce will provide the number of trainees required in various categories with 75% payment by the government and 25% by the airline/travel agency for one year of training after which the company has the flexibility to absorb as regular staff or reject if unsuitable.
    QR added that performance and attendance are monitored during the training period and replacement is possible if unsatisfactory. QR's experience is positive in this regard. AF stated that they used a lot of resources for training including abroad, but faced turnover before paying
    back the money spent on training and as such contracts should be made for continued service for at least 3 years after training. AF has positive experience with native employees with travel agency experience; however, salary discrimination is necessary to keep Saudi employees which is creating a problem.
    GF alerted that the Saudization process started 9 years before and the policy will be strictly enforced now.

     

  7. JOINT BAR MEETINGS WITHIN THE GCC
    GF suggested to have joint BAR meetings in different GCC locations in rotation every six months. Dr Al-Amri thanked GF for this suggestion which was well accepted by the gathering as a means to promote sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences.
     

  8. JED AOC CHAIRMAN'S FEEDBACK
    Mr Ahmed Sheriff (GF), the new JED AOC Chairman, informed that the current priority is to work on improvements in services and safety. The Airport Authority has approved the renovation of the North Terminal based on the experience of inconvenience to passengers in general and during Hajj operation in particular. Mr Sheriff solicited cooperation and support of all airlines by paying all the outstanding bills in order to facilitate financing of the improvements. He informed that an updated directory of airport managers will be published soon, answered queries from airline representatives and took note of their comments and suggestions for improvement.
    A commemorative memento was presented to the outgoing JED AOC Chairman Mr Ahmed AlIdrissi, currently Area Manager of QR, in appreciation of his excellent performance during his tenure.

     

  9. BARSA SUBSCRIPTION FEE
    BARSA Treasurer Mr Abi Allam read out the names of the 18 airlines which have paid the BARSA subscription fees for 2004 and urged all the others to make prompt payment.
     

  10. BARSA FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE
    In order to evaluate the performance of BARSA and invite suggestions for further improvements, a questionnaire was distributed to each participant for completion and return.
     

The meeting was held in a very cordial and conducive atmosphere with frank and free exchange of views and was closed with a prayer/lunch break.

  • OFFICIALS
     

    Mr Hamza M. Sharif (GF)

    Vice Chairman

    Dr Ayed T. Al-Amri (SV)

    General Secretary

    Mr Abdo Abi Allam (AF)

    Treasurer

    Mr Fahad Al-Sabhani (SV)

    Assistant General Secretary

  • AIRLINE REPRESENTATIVES
     

    AF

    Mr Frank Martin

    General Manager

    AH

    Mr A. Yahiaovi

    Area Manager

    AI

    Mr P. Ashok Kumar

    Mr Saadat A. Khan

    Manager Western Saudi Arabia

    Sales Manager Western Saudi Arabia

    AT

    Mr  Hamdy Yousuf

    Assistant General Manager

    AZ

    Mr Iqbal Miyajiwala

    Manager for Kuwait, KSA & Yemen

    BA

    Mr Richard Hirsch

    Country Manager

    BI

    Mr Y.A. Javeed

    Country Manager KSA

    B8

    Mr Tewolde Gabriel

    General Manager Saudi Arabia

    CY

    Mr George Kapello

    Country Manager

    D3

    Mr Ibrahim J. Ahmed

    Area Manager

    EK

    Mr Amer Akhtar

    Sales Manager (WP)

    ET

    Mr Mussa Yusuf

    Manager Airport Services

    GF

    Mr Ahmed Sheriff

    JED AOC Chairman

    IR

    Mr Jalil Ammarlou

    Area Manager

    IY

    Mr Abdullah Aldailami

    Sales Manager

    KL

    Mr Noman Syed

    District-in-Charge

    KU

    Mr Muteb Alajmi

    Mr Muneer Ahmed

    Senior Manager

    District Sales Manager

    LH

    Mr Peter Daniel

    Regional Manager

    LX

    Mr Rolf Koller

    Mr Manuel Staerkle

    General Manager

    Area Manager

    ME

    Mr Ayman Omairi

    Sales Devpt. Manager

    MH

    Mr Shahrunnawi

    Sales Manager

    MS

    Mr Youssef Gool

    Sales Manager

    PK

    Mr Salim Nisar

    Mr Asim Baber

    General Manager Saudi Arabia

    Asst. Manager Saudi Arabia

    QR

    Mr Ahmed Al-Idrissi

    Area Manager KSA

    RB

    Mr Nassib Samadi

    Mr Syed Usmanal

    Regional Manager

    Sales Manager

    RJ

    Mr Samiran Bose

    Manager Marketing & Sales

    SA

    Mr Thabit M. Refae

    Mr Kamal A. Bari

    Chief Adviser Middle East

    Station Manager

    SD

    Mr A/Rahman Elfadul

    Station Manager

    SQ

    Mr Sher Khan

    General Manager Middle East

    SV

    Mr Saud Irgsous

    Mr Syed Aboobacker P. Thangal

    Chairman YIC

    Sr. Spclst. Bil. & Cml. Agrmts

    TK

    Mr Ismail Turan

    Country Manager

    UL

    Mr Chinthaka Bandara

    Sales Executive (WP)

    WY

    Mr Saleh Issa Alkindy

    Country Manager KSA

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