Saudi Arabian Airlines

Helping a world-class airline develop a world-class website

Starting out in 1945 with just a single twin-engine DC-3, today Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is one of the largest, most technically advanced airlines in the world, flying its customers all around the globe.

 

Challenge

An ongoing one, it’s all about improving the experience on their website. With ambitious new targets in place around driving customers online, they want to make sure their site is as good as it can be – and take the pressure of their contact centres in the process.

So they’ve asked us to work alongside their development agencies and ‘booking engine’ provider to look at everything from design and content to usability – and implement changes that will put their website up there with ‘the best of the best’.

With a big difference in working hours (2 to 3 hours’ time difference and a working week that finishes on a Thurs), multiple international agencies and technologies to work with, and the incredibly busy schedules of their booking engine provider, it’s been a tasty challenge to get our teeth into.

 

Solution

Webinars, conference calls and international flights

We make the absolute most of today’s technology; catching the Saudia team by phone, Skype and webinars whenever we need that instant contact – and when we need time together that can’t be found in Bristol, we fly to them – Saudia of course! Nothing beats quality time in a room with your clients.

Disciplined with booking engine deadlines

We’re not about to risk missing the windows we’re given for implementing our designs (and leave Saudia without a booking engine!), so we’re tighter than tight with our deadlines. ‘Drop dead’ means just that – and we meet every single one.

Planning ahead

Our designs need to work with every agency’s platform – and even if the implementation is hugely different, everything must look, and feel, identical to the end user. So we make absolutely certain that we build in enough time, and resource, to manage things seamlessly. And to be sure our timings never slip, we’ve become (even more) expert planners.

Multi-lingual thinking

Everything we develop has to work for multiple languages (particularly Arabic, where everything’s read from right to left). So all our designs are 100% adaptable – from spacing that allows for any change to copy length, to an animated plane that can either fly from left to right, or right to left across the screen. Stress tested and then some, every image can be flipped, every block widened or lengthened, without any effect on the parameters of the page.

Flexible creativity

As is often the case with large-scale technical projects in large-scale organisations, Saudia constantly have to balance the priorities of the wider business with the timelines needed for the solutions they’d like. So we help in two ways – first, we’re as flexible as we can be, making time to tweak and tweak again to fit with their changing needs – and second, we always have a ‘Plan B’.  So whatever happens, we’re always ready with a great solution.

 

Results

They’ve only just started implementing the changes, but our designs have already been creating chat in the airline industry and getting Saudia noticed. They’ve also just been classed 2nd in the world for most improved airline at the World Airline Awards, and been upgraded from a 3-star to a 4-star rating by Skytrax.

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