Saudia launches new direct flights connecting Riyadh and Jeddah to Beijing

Saudia, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has launched new direct flights connecting Riyadh and Jeddah with Beijing, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.

In collaboration with the Air Connectivity Program (ACP), this move is seen as a testament to the commitment of both Saudi Arabia and China to deepen their cooperation, SPA said.

The inaugural flight from Jeddah to Beijing was successfully conducted on August 4, 2023, followed by the direct flight from Riyadh to Beijing on August 6, 2023, it said.

With these new routes, approximately 165 million people residing in northern China now have convenient access to the Kingdom, paving the way for increased mutual tourism and fostering greater international collaboration between Saudi Arabia and global aviation markets, SPA said.

ACP, serving as the Kingdom’s air connectivity facilitator, played a crucial role in launching these new routes, SPA said, adding that the move aligns with Saudi Arabia’s commitment to enhancing progress in its travel and aviation sectors.

“The launch of this new route comes shortly after the hugely successful 10th Arab-China business forum in Riyadh and represents an important development in our ongoing efforts to expand air connectivity,” SPA quoted ACP CEO Ali Rajab as saying.

ACP believes additional routes to and from the Kingdom will be launched in the latter half of 2023 and the first half of 2024, further bolstering the aviation network and international accessibility, SPA said.

The efforts to expand air connectivity have yielded tangible results, with Saudi Arabia’s improved global air connectivity ranking by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), moving from 27th place in 2019 to 13th in 2022, SPA noted.

“At SAUDIA, we remain dedicated to expanding our network and contributing to the 250 destinations outlined in the Saudi National Aviation strategy,” SPA quoted SAUDIA CEO Capt. Ibrahim Koshy as saying.

“Partnerships, like the one with ACP, play a crucial role in achieving this goal. Together, we have successfully launched routes, including Birmingham, UK, and Zurich, Switzerland, that have enabled us to connect the world to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

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