In a further bolstering of flight services out of London Gatwick airport, the Saudi flag carrier Saudia has announced the intended commencement of flights to Jeddah from the London airport.
Gatwick to Jeddah flights
London Gatwick Airport will see another long-haul route added to its network from 1 June, when Saudia begins operating flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi flag-carrier airline will fly six times a week to King Abdulaziz International Airport with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This will then increase to daily services from August.
The new service reflects VINCI Airports’ commitment to serve communities and sustain business growth by developing air connectivity.
It also highlights Gatwick’s competitiveness to attract vital new routes to important markets.
Stephanie Wear, VP Aviation Development, Gatwick Airport said: “Saudia will be a very welcome addition to London Gatwick’s growing long-haul offer.
“Although we have services to Middle East destinations such as Dubai, Doha and in Egypt and Turkey, it will be the first time since 2014 we have had flights to Saudi Arabia.”
“This is fantastic news not only for the Saudi community in London and the South East, but also UK nationals in Saudi Arabia and those looking to travel on holiday or for business.
“With the airline’s base in Jeddah, this route also provides excellent onward connections to destinations such as Pakistan, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.”
Hajj travel demand
Jeddah, located on Saudi Arabia’s east coast, is an hour’s drive from Mecca and will prove an important connection for people travelling during Hajj – the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, which this year takes place from 26 June – 1 July.
About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and is a vital piece of national infrastructure that helps drive both the regional and national economy.
More than 40 airlines fly from the airport to over 150 short-haul and more than 45 long-haul destinations.
The airport is focused on rebuilding and growing sustainably in the long term. It has ambitious plans to be a net zero airport by 2030 and increase capacity by bringing its Northern runway into routine use.
VINCI Airports owns a 50.01% stake in the airport, with Global Infrastructure Partners managing the remaining 49.99% interest.
The move to Gatwick Airport
Contentious airline operator charges at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has seen a raft of services relocated from LHR to Gatwick Airport in recent times.
AviationSource recently reported on this, noting the most recent relocation of services by Greek low-cost carrier Sky Express.
London Gatwick Airport closed out a satisfying year for 2022, posting a return to profitability following the global pandemic.
The uptick in air travel demand as restrictions lifted last year saw many airports struggle with operational and logistical factors.
Gatwick Airport cited their proactivity in working closely with airline partners to minimise the disruptions felt across the industry.
Despite the return to profitability, the airport stated that it was “cautiously optimistic” with regards the return to pre-pandemic operational levels, given the prevailing economic climate.