SAUDIA, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has launched its first direct flight to Beijing, China, in collaboration with the Air Connectivity Program (ACP). This milestone falls in line with Saudi Aviation Strategy, which recognizes the importance of air connectivity in targeting key markets, such as China, and accommodating increasing demand from international tourists seeking to discover the treasures of Saudi Arabia.
The inaugural SAUDIA flight from Jeddah to Beijing, (SV 0886), took off on the morning of August 4, 2023, from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the presence of His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group, His Excellency Mr. Chen Weiqing, the Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ayman Abu Abah, CEO of JEDCO, and executives from ACP at the boarding gate. Chocolates and a special boarding pass celebrating this historic day were distributed to the departing guests.
The aircraft was welcomed at PKX with a water salute, where guests were greeted with flowers and giveaways. A second ceremony was held on the departure of the first flight from Beijing to Saudi Arabia, (SV 0887) in attendance of His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, His Excellency Mr. Abdulrahman Alharbi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to China, Mr. Ali Rajab, CEO of ACP, and Mr. Kong Yue, the Vice President of Beijing Daxing International Airport.
Later today, an event will be held at The Four Seasons Hotel, Beijing, where distinguished guests from both countries will come together to celebrate this milestone. The theme of the event is “Wings of Connection”, focusing on the opportunities and benefits brought by the direct flight service, while highlighting the ecosystem’s role in fostering connections across trade and business, tourism, education, and culture. Under the patronage of His Excellency, Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Harbi, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to China, and in attendance of His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Mr. Ali Rajab, and Mr. Kong Yue along with representatives from governmental entities, travel agencies, and media, this event commemorates the impact of the ecosystem’s concerted efforts in strengthening the bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and China.”
“China is a very important route for SAUDIA.”
“The introduction of the new direct flights to and from Beijing not only boosts tourism but also strengthens the overall economic and cultural ties between the two nations. It facilitates increased travel, trade, and people-to-people exchanges, fostering stronger bilateral relations.
Tourism is a pillar of Saudi Vision 2030, and China is ranked among the top global sources of tourists. This new route will be another large step forward towards Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic diversification agenda and it can achieve much growth with more Chinese vacationers coming to the Kingdom.”
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“We are also very grateful for the continuous support provided by the Air Connectivity Program, which enables us to continue to grow as we work towards achieving our objective to bring the world to Saudi Arabia.” He added.
Ali Rajab, ACP’s CEO said: “This new route is the outcome of our collective efforts to further connect Saudi Arabia and China, strengthening an avenue for mutual growth. By working closely with our partners in the Saudi ecosystem, we have ensured that every traveler embarking on this journey will experience the seamless blend of hospitality, heritage, and innovation Saudi Arabia offers. We are excited to witness the transformative impact this flight will have on both nations and the lasting connections it will create.”
Alhasan Aldabbagh, President of APAC Markets at Saudi Tourism Authority, stated, “This is an iconic achievement that underscores our dedication to China – one of our vital source markets. Fueled by an ambitious tourism plan, which is underpinned by the Vision 2030 strategic framework, Saudia’s historic ‘Wings of Connection’ expansion into Beijing will help us welcome over 4 million Chinese visitors to Saudi by 2030. Today, Saudi is expanding at a breakneck pace, with our vibrant tourism sector offering the most significant developments in the world. We eagerly await the arrival of Chinese travelers to the authentic home of Arabia, where they will embark on an exploration of Saudi’s ancient culture, unique heritage, and unrivalled natural offerings.”
SAUDIA will operate four weekly flights between the Kingdom and Beijing, and will further utilize the airline’s extensive fleet, catering to guests with a range of convenient check-in methods, high-quality onboard services, and a comfortable flight experience that underlines the flag carrier’s commitment to excellence.