SAUDIA to launch routes from Birmingham

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.

10,000,000: passengers named as Tony and Jen were awarded two business class flights on Turkish Airlines when they became the 10,000,000th customers to use Birmingham Airport in the financial year

Choice Hotels and Seera Group open two new properties in Saudi Arabia

CHME, a fully owned subsidiary of Seera Holding Group has opened two new properties in Saudi Arabia – Clarion Jeddah Airport and Comfort King Road Jeddah.

Clarion Hotel Jeddah Airport has 200 rooms and is located on the Prince Majid Road, just three minutes away from the new King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and Jeddah Airport Train Station.

It is easily accessible from the Jeddah City Centre and also located close to the Mall of Arabia, one of the biggest shopping centres in Jeddah.

The Comfort King Road, with 125 extended stay suites, is located in one of the most prominent areas of Jeddah and in close proximity to the Jeddah Corniche, Jeddah International Airport, and the Madinah Road.

These two openings form part of an agreement between Choice Hotels EMEA and Seera Holding Group to open at least ten hotels in the Kingdom within the next five years.   

Commenting on the openings, Choice Hotels EMEA CEO, Jonathan Mills said: 

As guests continue to return to travel, they desire authentic hotels, and I am pleased Seera group and these two new properties are joining our portfolio.

The properties all differ in style but are all ideally located in central areas across the Kingdom. They have been designed with both a local and international audience in mind and I am sure our guests will be excited by their offerings.

We are the only global hotel company to first enter the Middle East market by opening a hotel in Saudi Arabia, a country placing a substantive focus on developing travel and tourism.

These properties are a meaningful symbol of local and regional economic growth, and we are focused on continuing to increase Choice Hotels footprint in the region.

Majed Alnefaie, CEO of Seera Group said:

Our partnership with Choice Hotels EMEA will further strengthen our credentials in delivering world-class travel and tourism services to our guests through hotel projects in prime locations. This underlines our commitment to the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to strengthen inward tourism and to build a robust infrastructure that will enable the Kingdom to realize the goals of economic diversification.

Shuja Zaidi, Seera’s Chief Hospitality Officer said: 

Through this strategic partnership, we are further enhancing the hospitality infrastructure of the Kingdom to welcome guests from around the world as well as support domestic tourism.

At CHME-Seera, we are focused on supporting hotel projects that not only reflect the warm hospitality of the Arab world but also deliver modern amenities that meet the requirements of today’s travellers.

As part of the agreement, currently there are several identified projects for Choice Hotels brands throughout Saudi Arabia in various stages of development.