The national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, SAUDIA has collaborated with the Saudi Air Connectivity Program (ACP) and Saudi Tourism Authority, to launch four new international destinations: Birmingham, Beijing, Kano (Nigeria) and Johannesburg.
Representing a significant expansion programme for 2023, the route development follows the national carrier’s signing of an agreement with ACP, and is in line with the program’s objective of enhancing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s point-to-point air connectivity and its reach to target international markets.
Ali Rajab, CEO of ACP said
The opening of four new air routes across three different regions is the result of strong collaboration between the Saudi tourism and aviation ecosystems. We are proud to have been part of these efforts. These new routes offer a diverse mix of travel opportunities in the Kingdom, unlocking its rich cultural heritage and inviting travelers from around the world to experience the beauty and diversity of this remarkable destination.
Air connectivity will play an increasingly important role in enabling tourism growth and creating new opportunities for businesses and tourists alike. We look forward to building on this momentum to unlock new destinations, and create a brighter future for the Kingdom.
Capt. Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA, highlighted the airline’s ongoing commitment to investing in operational expansion. He said,
We are dedicated to continue optimizing our modern fleet to meet current and future expansion requirements. In addition to the recent launch of the new service “Your Ticket, Your Visa” which is the first of its kind in the world has increased airline’s competitive position with a market share of 40% for flights and seat capacity in the past year.
Koshy also stressed the importance of initiatives aimed at increasing SAUDIA’s international market share, simplifying and facilitating travel procedures, and enhancing the travel experience for guests, all of which are designed to increasing the Saudi Arabia’s air connectivity.
The new direct flight routes are said to have been launched as a response to the uptick in consumer demand from travellers looking to visit or transit through Saudi from Birmingham, Beijing, Kano and Johannesburg.
Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority said,
[The] announcement of four new routes demonstrates the power of the tourism ecosystem to work with airline partners to bring new capacity online. Through cross-government collaboration, we are continuing to build ease and connectivity to transform Saudi and meet our ambitious target to welcome 100m visits by 2030. This is significant as direct flight options are not only good news for international travellers but also create growth, opportunity and investment in Saudi and across the world.
Birmingham Airport recently marked the ten millionth customer flying through the airport in the financial year.