IntroductionThe aviation department in airline industry is currently faced with various challenges such as those related to current economic climate, fuel prices, legislative changes, financial chaos of certain airlines as well as gradually more competitive environment. Such challenges heighten the need for continuous and radical restructuring of the entire air transport industry. For instance, Saudi Airlines Cargo, which was founded in 2008 as part of the company’s privatization process of the Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA), achieved fleet as well as global network expansion in the past two years and is successfully contributing to the national economic growth through developing and positioning Saudi Arabia as a major and global cargo transport hub (Etihad Airways 2009).
The company has focused on elevating the operational performance at all its stations in order to keep pace with the global airfreight industry growth. This company is responsibly required for executing, evaluating as well as monitoring the efficiency of the company’s periodic maintenance programs and their continuous development to facilitate its air transport business operations. In addition to the task of monitoring the technical performance of the aircraft, management of the engines and the entire parts for Saudi Arabian Airlines fleet are facilitated by the implementation of Systems Application Program (SAP) as the newly practiced technological change in the airline industry (Edquist 1997).
The study examines the Saudi Arabian Airline organizational background and its perceived need for technological change, description of the various technological changes such as Systems Application Program (SAP), Sun and Safety Management Systems (SMS) implementation process, roles and perspectives of the key players the technological changes, critically analyzes and evaluates the application of various technologies such as SAP, Sun and Safety Management Systems (SMS) in Saudi Arabian Airline industry and concludes with personal and organizational lessons learnt from the technological change management. Organizational background and perceived need for changeLocated in Jeddah, Saudi Arabian Airlines is the leading national airline of Saudi Arabia and is entirely owned by the Saudi Arabian Kingdom.
Through the use of a fleet of both narrow and wide-body Airbus, Boeing, the McDonnell Douglas as well as Embraer aircraft, Saudi Arabian Airlines provides a network of both domestic and regional services in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East as well as Asia, Europe and North America.
Most of the industrial sectors within Saudi Arabia have overtime been experiencing an economic boom, with aviation inclusive. For example, for the previously elapsed 60 years, state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines has been considered the country’s only authorized operator for both domestic and international flights. Conversely, the Kingdom’s growing aviation sector is noticeably to have been greatly enhanced by the launching of the two new domestically in service budget airlines, the privatization of all Saudi Arabian Airlines as well as by various airport expansion projects in the entire Kingdom.
Saudi Airlines operates as an airlines service in Saudi Arabia as well as the nation's official government-owned airline. It has its headquarters in Jeddah and enabled by frequent flier plan that was developed together with Alfursan. The company also owns a hub within the Abha-Abha International Airport. The airline currently flies to more than134 destinations which are mostly international. It also charters its planes to various independent carriers within the nation and to its several alliances with the other air carriers in the neighboring countries.
This creates a good portion of its income and responsible for the company’s much success on the global market.