SAUDIA, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has successfully launched its maiden direct flight to Beijing, China.
This is the result of a collaborative effort with the nation’s Air Connectivity Program (ACP), aligning seamlessly with the Saudi Aviation Strategy’s focus on targeting key international markets like China.
The inaugural flight, SV 0886, embarked on its historic journey from Jeddah to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) on August 4, 2023.
The Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight witnessed a ribbon-cutting ceremony at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, attended by esteemed personalities including His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group, and His Excellency Mr. Chen Weiqing, the Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The significance of this momentous event was further enhanced by the presence of Mr. Ayman Abu Abah, CEO of JEDCO, and executives from ACP, underscoring the collaborative efforts behind this achievement.
In an expression of celebration, departing guests were presented with special boarding passes and chocolates, commemorating this historic milestone that symbolizes strengthened bilateral ties.
Upon arrival at Beijing Daxing International Airport, the SAUDIA aircraft was met with a heartfelt water salute, accompanied by floral greetings and giveaways for the guests.
This warm welcome solidified the significance of this new flight route in enhancing people-to-people connections and fostering greater understanding between the two nations.
The Departure Ceremony
The departure ceremony of the return flight from Beijing to Saudi Arabia, SV 0887, witnessed the presence of His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Mr. Abdulrahman Alharbi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to China.
Also present were Mr. Ali Rajab, CEO of ACP, and Mr. Kong Yue, the Vice President of Beijing Daxing International Airport. This joint celebration affirmed the dedication of both nations to expanding mutual growth avenues and reinforcing cultural exchanges.
The “Wings of Connection” Event
Later in the day, a momentous event titled “Wings of Connection” was hosted at The Four Seasons Hotel, Beijing. The event brought together distinguished guests from Saudi Arabia and China, showcasing the profound impact of the direct flight service on various sectors.
With a thematic focus on opportunities and benefits, the event emphasized the role of air connectivity in bolstering trade, business, tourism, education, and cultural exchanges.
The event took place with the patronage of His Excellency, Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Harbi, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to China, and in the presence of dignitaries including His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Mr. Ali Rajab, and Mr. Kong Yue.
It showcased the collaborative efforts of governmental entities, travel agencies, and media in fortifying the relationship between Saudi Arabia and China.
Vision and Significance
His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group, expressed his pride in expanding operations and providing new destinations for guests.
He highlighted that the direct flight service between Saudi Arabia and China holds a crucial role in boosting tourism and fostering economic and cultural ties between the nations.
The enhanced travel options are poised to facilitate increased travel, trade, and people-to-people exchanges, ultimately contributing to stronger bilateral relations.
Tourism and Vision 2030
With Saudi Vision 2030 placing tourism as a cornerstone of its strategic framework, the importance of the new flight route cannot be understated. China stands as a prominent source of global tourists, and the introduction of this direct connection aligns seamlessly with Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification agenda. This bold step holds the potential to attract a considerable influx of Chinese vacationers, further driving the nation’s growth.
The Role of ACP
Ali Rajab, CEO of ACP, lauded the collaborative efforts that led to the establishment of this new flight route. By closely working with partners in the Saudi ecosystem, a seamless blend of hospitality, heritage, and innovation has been curated for travelers embarking on this journey. The transformative impact of this flight on both nations is anticipated, with lasting connections expected to be forged.
Saudi Tourism Authority’s Perspective
Alhasan Aldabbagh, President of APAC Markets at Saudi Tourism Authority, described this achievement as iconic, emphasizing the dedication to one of Saudi’s vital source markets, China. This expansion is anticipated to welcome over 4 million Chinese visitors to Saudi Arabia by 2030.
The growth of Saudi’s tourism sector, underpinned by Vision 2030, is set to offer unprecedented developments, inviting Chinese travelers to explore Saudi’s rich culture, unique heritage, and unparalleled natural wonders.
SAUDIA is committed to facilitating seamless travel between the Kingdom and Beijing. The airline will operate four weekly flights, using its extensive fleet to provide guests with convenient check-in options, exceptional onboard services, and a comfortable flight experience.
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