Saudi Arabia Approves New China Southern Airlines Routes

Close up of a China Southern Airlines Boeing 777 on approach.
Shimin Gu (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

China Southern Airlines has been authorized by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to operate regular passenger and cargo flights between Saudi Arabia and China.

Commencing April 16, 2024, this will see flights connect the major Chinese cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen with Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

The summer 2024 schedule will feature four passenger/commercial flights and three dedicated cargo flights from China Southern Airlines each week.

This expansion directly supports the goals of the Saudi Aviation Strategy, aiming to more than double the Kingdom’s global connectivity by 2030.

The strategy also includes a dedicated Saudi Air Connectivity Program to further bolster the aviation and tourism sectors.

Boosting Competition and Growth

Ali Mohammed Rajab, Executive Vice President for Air Transport and International Cooperation at GACA, expressed his enthusiasm: “These new routes significantly enhance Saudi Arabia’s global reach.”

“They demonstrate the progress made towards the Saudi Aviation Strategy’s objectives and pave the way for a more competitive and empowered aviation and tourism industry.”

GACA’s commitment to fostering a long-term competitive and thriving aviation sector is evident in this decision.

This move aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, driving opportunities for travelers, businesses, and investors.

The Kingdom is actively unlocking unprecedented aviation opportunities, strengthening its position as a global connector.

Building on Strategic Partnerships

This announcement follows a February 2024 visit by a GACA-led delegation to China. The visit yielded a signed Memorandum of Understanding.

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Dauilej, the President of GACA, and Song Zhiyong, the Administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, signed off on this agreement.

This agreement formalized a commitment to strengthen air transport and airfreight cooperation between the two nations.

Saudi Arabia’s leadership in global aviation connectivity continues with the upcoming 2024 Future Aviation Forum. The event is now scheduled for May 20-22 in Riyadh.

Themed “Elevating Global Connectivity,” the forum will convene 5,000 aviation leaders from over 100 countries. This will include regulators, airlines, manufacturers, airports, and investors.

shimin (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 ), via Wikimedia Commons

About the Saudi Aviation Strategy and GACA

The Saudi Aviation Strategy is driven by Vision 2030 and aligned with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy. It aspires to transform the Kingdom’s aviation sector into the preeminent force in the Middle East by 2030.

This ambitious strategy unlocks US$100 billion in private and government investments across Saudi Arabia’s airports, airlines, and aviation support services.

It envisions extending connectivity across 29 airports, and tripling annual passenger traffic. It will establish two global long-haul connecting hubs, and significantly increase air cargo capacity.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) spearheads the Saudi Aviation Strategy. GACA’s mission encompasses developing the air transport industry according to the highest international standards.

They strive to solidify the Kingdom’s position as a global leader in civil aviation and enforce relevant regulations to ensure the safety, security, and sustainability of air travel.

2024 Future Aviation Forum

The 2024 Future Aviation Forum hosted by GACA will bring together more than 5,000 aviation experts and leaders from more than 100 countries.

International carriers, manufacturers, airport executives, industry leaders and regulators will address the future of international air travel and freight management.

The Forum will be a global convening point for finding solutions to the most pressing issues in aviation. This addresses supply chain management, human capital planning, capacity growth, customer experience, sustainability, and safety.

The Future Aviation Forum takes place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20-22, 2024.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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