SAUDIA Handles 5.1m Passengers in Q122 – Stronger Growth Anticipated

Photo Credit: Harrison Rowe/AviationSource

LONDON – Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier recorded 5.1 million passengers in the first quarter of this year. This is an impressive comeback from the previous year (2021), with a 75% increase.

This signals a strong post-pandemic rebound…


Director-General of the airline Ibrahim Al-Omar said:

“As the momentum for travel continues to build, we will increase frequencies and introduce new destinations on our network during 2022.

Saudia flew more than 40,000 flights in the first quarter of 2022, which is a significant increase of 44% in the same quarter of 2021.

The airline operates a fleet of 144 modern aircraft and flew in a combination of 101,600 hours in this year’s first quarter, a 77% increase from last year during the same period.

Numerous destinations have been added to Saudia’s network including Bangkok, Barcelona, Malaga, Marrakech, Moscow, Beijing, Seoul, Entebbe, Amsterdam, and Chicago.

Ibrahim added: “This strategy is especially important in light of the Kingdom’s megaprojects and transformation agenda for the tourism industry, as we continue to serve as the ‘Wings of Vision 2030’ and welcome the world to Saudi Arabia,”

The airline could potentially see more growth, but the current war in Ukraine will weaken Moscow’s passenger traffic levels, and China’s zero covid policy certainly softens demand to Chinese cities, especially the newly launched Beijing route.

Despite unforeseen events in the global economy, the airline is impressed with the rebound…


Saudia’s CEO Captain Ibrahim Koshy said: “The strong traffic results represent the culmination of the efforts of the airline’s staff, who have been the driving force behind the airline’s comeback to pre-COVID levels of activity.”

“As demand returned, our strong airline business fundamentals have translated into a significant improvement in our performance. This achievement has been made possible by the commitment of our hardworking employees combined with our business agility.”

Saudi Arabia is a country in a massive transformation to open up to the world and compete with the likes of the UAE and Qatar.

Under Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030 plan, the country plans to attract 100 million tourists in 10 years, where Saudia will play a crucial role in the ambitious plan. 

One of the events in 2021 that may explain the impressive growth recorded by the carrier was the Riyadh Season, which ran from October 2021 to March 2022.

The event hosted many entertainment and cultural even which attracted people from all over the world, especially in Europe.

The company’s group chief marketing officer Khaled Tash said:

“We are proud of our initiatives to promote Riyadh Season among our guests and highlight Saudi Arabia as a major global tourist and entertainment destination.”

“We hope that these activities and the special gifts provided to our passengers will encourage them to visit the festival and discover its many unique events and attractions.”

Saudia has emerged from the pandemic relatively strong, driven by the opening of new routes and the government’s ambitious plan to boost the country’s tourism sector.

Saudia will witness stronger growth in the coming years to cater to the rise in the inbound demand to Saudi Arabia.

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