The flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, SAUDIA, has launched its first direct flight to its newest destination in the United Kingdom – Birmingham. The ACP Air Connectivity Program has supported this route.
This particular program was launched in 2021 to aid in the Kingdom’s tourism and economic growth, by championing air connectivity and developing existing and potential air routes. This overwhelmingly aids Saudi Arabia’s air connectivity to the world.
The Flight to Birmingham
The inaugural flight to Birmingham by SAUDIA originated from its hub in Jeddah. The flight took off as SV0251 at 8:00 am from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
To mark this occasion, the ceremony was enacted at the airport’s Alfursan Lounge ahead of the flight to the United Kingdom.
The ceremony was celebrated with a ribbon and cake-cutting ceremony in the departure hall. Passengers on this departure flight will be given chocolate souvenirs and a special boarding pass commemorating this historical occasion.
At the ceremony, there were many VIP’s present. This included Cecille El Beleidi, British Consul General of the United Kingdom to Jeddah; Sultan Otaify, Vice President of Strategy and Communication at ACP; Rashed Alshammari, Vice President of Commercial at ACP, and Manal Alshehri, Vice President of Passenger Sales at SAUDIA.
Vice President of Passenger Sales at SAUDIA, Manal Alshehri, stated with optimism: “We are proud to be expanding our operations in the United Kingdom and continue to offer new destinations to our guests regularly.”
“The United Kingdom is a very important destination for SAUDIA, and the launch of new direct flights to and from Birmingham highlights the strengthening of relations between our two countries.”
“We’re also very grateful for the continuous support from the Air Connectivity Program, which enables us to continue to grow as we work towards our objective to bring the world to Saudi Arabia.”
Vice President of Strategy and Communication at ACP, Sultan Otaify, stated: “In collaboration with ACP, SAUDIA has launched a direct flight to Birmingham, a city steeped in history and a renowned hub of the Industrial Revolution.”
“As this new route becomes part of the growing air network facilitated by ACP, it significantly contributes to the flourishing tourism between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.”
“It is through such bilateral initiatives that we witness the positive trajectory of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom’s relationship, as both countries strive to simplify and streamline travel processes.”
“ACP is committed to empowering carriers in their efforts to unlock new destinations and travel experiences that showcase the rich cultural heritage and diverse attractions of Saudi Arabia.’’
Warm Welcome to Birmingham
The Saudia aircraft was warmly welcomed at Birmingham Airport (BHX) with the traditional water salute. SAUDIA also unsurprisingly, returned from Birmingham to Jeddah.
The Saudi flag carrier will fly the route thrice weekly between its hub, Jedda, and Birmingham. This new route will complement SAUDIA’s extensive network globally, especially in Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East.
SAUDIA has an extensive route network to the United Kingdom, with flights already to London and Manchester. The launching of flights to Birmingham signifies the airline’s importance to the United Kingdom market.
Like any other Middle Eastern airline, they bank on the United Kingdom market as being one of the largest and the most lucrative markets in the network.
The UK is home to diasporas of those in South Asia and Africa, thus making onward connecting to and from the United Kingdom a very competitive destination.
SAUDIA is already flying to 21 European destinations, elevating the airline’s capabilities, but not quite to the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways.