SAUDIA Direct Flight to Zurich Finally Launched

A SAUDIA Airbus taxiing.
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, SAUDIA has finally inaugurated the first ever direct to a new destination in Switzerland, Zurich in collaboration with the Air Connectivity Program. SAUDIA is expanding like never before.

SAUDIA ceremony

The special occasion was marked with a huge ceremony at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the nation’s capital.

The ceremony was attended by heavyweights, such as Dr Andreas Schaller the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Switzerland to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Mr Arved Nikolaus Von Zur Muhlen the Chief Commercial Officer of SAUDIA, Mr Sultan Alotaify.

Also in attendance was the VP of Strategy & Communication from the Air Connectivity Program, and the VP of Route Development Ms Anita Gackowska, as well as other important dignitaries and high profile officials.

At the gate itself, the ceremony comprised of the usual ribbon-cutting procedure, accompanied by food and beverages along with the members of the press from both local and international outlets, especially the Swiss ones. SAUDIA employees were seen greeting and mingling with passengers for the inaugural flight. 

SAUDIA ribbon cutting ceremony.

Management statements

The  CCO of SAUDIA, Mr Muhlen,  stated with excitement and optimism: “With continuous support from the Air Connectivity Program, we at SAUDIA are excited to begin transporting passengers along the milestone route, effectively utilizing our fleet of 150 premium aircraft to best accommodate travellers to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. 

Moreover, the Vice President of Strategy and Communications of The Air Connectivity Program, Mr Sultan Otaify, has signalled that local and ‘fruitful’ and dynamic lower-level partnerships are beneficial for both the airline and local small-medium enterprises in Zurich and Riyadh.

SAUDIA staff with banner celebrating new route to Zurich airport from Riyadh

This would not only stimulate the aviation businesses of both Switzerland and Saudi Arabia but businesses that are directly and indirectly that are involved with tourism and the airline business itself.

This new route will develop and strengthen relationships between Switzerland and the Kingdom. Saudia already flies to Geneva on the A320, and this new route will lay a new foundation for further cooperation. 

Upon arriving at Zurich Airport, the aircraft was greeted with the traditional water salute by the fire brigade to mark the first direct flight from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Zurich International Airport. In addition, the airline also held another celebration upon the return back to Saudia Arabia (Zurich to Riyadh).

The aim of this flight is to bring Switzerland closer to the world and vice-versa, through Saudia’s impressive network in South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The event was joined by Dr Adel Siraj Mirdad, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Switzerland, and the Regional SAUDIA Manager in Europe, Mr Hisham Bindkhail. 

SAUDIA A320 flying flags of Saudi Arabia and Switzerland


The airline’s new destination, joining the Saudi capital to Zurich, will enhance the ties between the countries, and will further utilise the airline’s large fleet of efficient modern jetliners. The airline does its best to cater to its passengers with the best possible service, with convenient check-in services and ground experience before and after the flight. 

This move will inch the airline closer to becoming a viable competitor to the big players in the Middle East, such as Qatar and Emirates.

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