Saudia records 30 million passengers with 21% growth in 2023

A Saudia Airbus in flight.
Photo Credit: Saudia

Saudia, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has continued its transformation in 2023 with the transportation of over 30 million guests, which marks a 21% increase compared to the previous year.

Last year also saw the operation of more than 176.3 thousand flights for the airline, representing a 4% increase. Transit flights witnessed a growth of 77% in 2023 compared to the year 2019.

Saudia 2023 in Review


Saudia was something of a rising star in 2023, and remained on the radar as it continued a strong transformation and growth program across the year.

Its progress is perhaps borne out in the figures for the calendar year, with the airline transporting over 30 million guests—an exceptional 21% increase from the previous year.

The airline’s operational progress was further underscored by the execution of more than 176.3 thousand flights, showcasing a 4% increase. Notably, transit flights experienced an astonishing 77% surge compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

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Operational Evolution


The airline’s success can be attributed in part to the meticulous enhancements to its operational model.

Saudia strategically increased seat capacity and flight frequency, achieving an outstanding on-time performance of 86.44% in 2023—a feat that secured its position among the top 10 globally.

International Gateway

Saudia has played a pivotal role in connecting the world to the Kingdom. The international flight network witnessed a substantial 36% increase, with over 16.7 million passengers carried.

The airline operated more than 79.4 thousand international flights, reflecting a 19% increase from the preceding year.

Remarkably, Saudia registered a 26% surge in flight hours, totaling an impressive 382 thousand in 2023.

The new SAUDIA Retro A321neo.
Photo Credit: Dirk Grothe

Domestic Success


Domestically, Saudia continued to be a lifeline for the Kingdom, transporting over 13.5 million passengers—a noteworthy 7% growth from the previous year.

Approximately 55% of the total flights were dedicated to domestic destinations, accumulating 163 thousand flight hours. This underscores Saudia’s unwavering commitment to serving its home ground.

International Expansion


Saudia expanded its international footprint significantly in 2023.

The inauguration of operations to the Red Sea International Airport and the addition of international stations, including Beijing, China, Birmingham, UK, and Johannesburg, South Africa, exemplify Saudia’s commitment to broadening its global reach.

Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia Group, attributes the airline’s growing success to the optimal execution of their operational plan.

He anticipates a substantial fleet expansion, marking a new chapter in Saudia’s illustrious eighty-year history. Koshy envisions Saudia becoming a global force, serving key sectors such as tourism, business, and pilgrimage.

Currently operating flights to over one hundred destinations across four continents with a diverse fleet of 142 aircraft, Saudia’s strategic investments in King Abdulaziz International Airport aim to establish a central hub for transit flights.

This aligns with the airline’s commitment to improving the travel experience through the adoption of digital systems, artificial intelligence technologies, and an upgraded system infrastructure—enhancements set to elevate operational efficiency and punctuality.

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Saudia was conspicuous across 2023, carrying 30 million passengers as it continued a strong transformation and growth program.
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