JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – Middle Eastern air carrier Saudia Airlines responded to a leaked report today confirming the company will add golf simulators to several A380 aircraft it just purchased as part of promotional activities to support the new Saudi LIV Invitational Series of golf.
The move is part of a major sponsorship package for the new Greg Norman helmed Saudi LIV Invitational Series – a competitor golf tour to the PGA that is not without some controversy. The report was leaked in advance of the upcoming golf tournaments for the inaugural league.
To support the new promotion effort, the airline took a page out of fellow SkyTeam member Delta’s book and bought several used aircraft landing a small fleet of previously owned Airbus A380 aircraft on the cheap.
“Emirates can have its showers and apartments,” said Saudia Airlines Vice President of Communications, Publicity, and Promotions Muhammad Ahmad. “But adding golf simulators to refurbished A380s is pretty awesome. After all, driving the golf ball is about speed. When you can hit the ball, relatively speaking, at nearly the speed of sound with thinner air you are going to have a great drive!”
The entire upper deck of the two-level super jets will be devoted to the golf gimmick. Dubbed “The Flying Range,” it will feature 20 golf simulators, a pro shop, and a restaurant dubbed “The Country Club.”
Special golf balls will be used and extra-thick window glass installed for those who tend to hook or slice the ball. “It would not be good for a window to blow out at 30,000 feet,” said Mr. Ahmad. “People’s ears would hurt so bad that they couldn’t hear anyone yell, ‘fore!’”
Passengers may bring their own clubs onboard or rent them from the pro shop. Flight attendants — normally vital to the safety of a given flight — may also be used as caddies for the trip.
Asked about who was inspired by this aircraft enhancement. Mr. Ahmad was hesitant to admit it was a professional golfer, and former Masters champion, who has recently been laying low after disparaging comments about “The Kingdom.”
Mr. Ahmad was quick to point out that there will not be any “19th hole” establishments for golfers to enjoy a traditional beverage after their sessions.
“Since we are a dry airline, and absolutely do not tolerate golfers bringing their own alcohol on our jets,” he said. “We fully expect players to be very responsible and professional on the aircraft driving range.”
Prices for “The Flying Range” experience start at $500 per half hour. The inaugural flights are set to tee off later this year, and passengers will be joined by the same unnamed golf pro whose image is still reeling from abrasive comments towards the PGA and who hasn’t been able to land on US soil just yet. Reportedly, the beleaguered pro has been circling around the San Diego Airport while placing huge sports bets on curling matches.