SAUDIA completes maiden flight to new Red Sea International Airport

Airport signage for SAUDIA flight to Red Sea International Airport
Photo Credit: SAUDIA

Saudi Arabian national flag carrier SAUDIA, carried out the maiden flight to the Red Sea International Airport from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh last week.

The carrier becomes the first air operator to utilise the new airport facility.

The inaugural flight, SV1571, departed from Riyadh at 10:50 am on Thursday, September 21, covering the distance in just two hours.

This flight route is now scheduled to operate twice a week, departing from Riyadh and Red Sea International Airport on both Thursdays and Saturdays.

This milestone reflects SAUDIA’s commitment to expanding its network and contributing to the goals of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s national development plan. It also builds upon SAUDIA’s successful operations at NEOM Bay Airport.

Collaboration with other stakeholders

The launch of this route is the result of collaborative efforts between SAUDIA, Red Sea Global, and daa International, the operators of Red Sea International Airport.


This collective agreement not only paves the way for SAUDIA to initiate regular scheduled services to and from RSI.  

Render of Red Sea International Airport.
Image Credit: Red Sea Global

It also lays the groundwork for collaborative research on Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel (LCAF) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) utilization at Red Sea International Airport.

Additionally, it explores the feasibility of employing electric vertical take-off and landing jets (eVTOL) to reduce emissions from air travel to The Red Sea.

Speaking after the maiden flight operation, Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA stated, “This collaboration has created an integrated work environment at the airport that adheres to the highest quality standards.”

“Our goal is to enhance the travel experience for our valued guests by providing well-trained personnel and ensuring the availability of all necessary equipment and supplies for seamless operations. Moreover, we are committed to offering digital self-service options to our guests.”

Sustainability initiatives

The partnership between SAUDIA and Red Sea Global is characterized by their joint commitment to sustainable flight operations.

This partnership encompasses all ground and air procedures, demonstrating a shared dedication to leadership in sustainability within the aviation industry.

Red Sea International Airport

Initially catering to domestic flights between Riyadh and later Jeddah, it is poised to accommodate international flights from 2024 onwards.

This marks the beginning of a transformative journey, with 13 hotels scheduled to open in phase one and, upon full completion in 2030, a grand total of 50 resorts, offering over 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

The destination will also feature luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, dining options, and leisure facilities.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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