Gulf carriers boost service to Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabia: Wednesday, January 23 - 2013 at 09:24
Emirates Airline is one of several carriers that is expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia to meet rising demand.
The carrier currently serves four cities in Saudi Arabia: Medinah, Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah, From 2nd February, its service to Riyadh goes from 17 to 28 flights a week, Jeddah jumps from 18 to 21 flights and Dammam gains an extra six services, becoming 13 flights a week. There will continue to be a daily flight to Medinah. The changes will take the airline's KSA flights to 69 per week.
"Stepping up our presence in Saudi brings greater convenience to customers and more opportunities to enjoy the world-renowned Emirates' experience," said Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates' Vice President, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Bahrain. "This is not only good news for travellers, it's also good news for business. Travelling executives have a wider variety of flights to choose from and importers and exporters can benefit from extra cargo capacity on the additional frequencies," Al Ghaith added.
On three days this month - 16th, 25th and 26th January - Emirates will offer a triple daily A380 service to Jeddah to support school holiday demand and the popular Dubai Shopping Festival. The shopping bonanza runs from 3rd January to 3rd February.
On 17th January, demand was such that a total of four Emirates' A380s were sent to Jeddah in one day.
"This is the perfect aircraft in periods of high demand - two levels and up to 527 seats. Saudi Arabia is becoming more and more prominent in our A380 operations," added Al Ghaith.
Emirates is not the only carrier in the region ramping up service to the kingdom. Earlier this month, Qatar Airways added new four-flight-per-week service to Gassim, in central Saudi Arabia. It marked the carrier's fifth destination in the kingdom alongside Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah and Dammam, and increased its number of flights per week to Saudi from 61 to 65.
Low-cost carrier flydubai also has announced plans to boost its Saudi service by adding a new route to the Saudi city of Ha'il from February 13, 2013. The carrier said it will fly twice a week from Dubai to Ha'il, an oasis city in Nejd in the north west of the country. flydubai first launched services to Saudi Arabia in November 2010, and now serves Riyadh, Jeddah, Abha Yanbu, Dammam, Gassim, Tabuk and Taif, in addition to Ha'il.
Outside the region, Malaysian-based low-cost carrier AirAsia X also recently said it will soon launch flights between its hub in Kuala Lumpur and Jeddah. The route will initially operate three flights weekly from February 16th to April 30th 2013, increasing to four flights weekly from May 1st 2013 onwards.
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