This new flight was made possible through a collaboration with the Air Connectivity Program (ACP). The program was launched in 2021 to support tourism growth in the Kingdom by enhancing air connectivity and developing existing and prospective air routes, connecting Saudi Arabia to new destinations.
The inaugural SAUDIA flight going from Jeddah to Birmingham (SV 0251) took off today at 8:00 am from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. To commemorate this occasion, a ceremony was held at the airport’s Alfursan Lounge ahead of the flight’s take-off, as the SAUDIA team celebrated with a ribbon and cake-cutting ceremony in the departure’s hall. Chocolate souvenirs and a special boarding pass celebrating this historic occasion were also distributed to the departing guests.
The ceremony was held in the presence of Cecille El Beleidi, British Consul General of the United Kingdom to Jeddah; Sultan Otaify, Vice President of Strategy and Communication at ACP; Rashed Alshammari, Vice President of Commercial at ACP, and Manal Alshehri, Vice President of Passenger Sales at SAUDIA.
Manal Alshehri, Vice President of Passenger Sales at SAUDIA said:
“We are proud to be expanding our operations in the United Kingdom and continue to regularly offer new destinations to our guests.”
“The United Kingdom is a very important destination for SAUDIA, and the launch of new direct flights to and from Birmingham highlights the strengthening of relations between our two countries. We’re also very grateful for the continuous support from the Air Connectivity Program, which enables us to continue to grow as we work towards our objective to bring the world to Saudi Arabia.”
Sultan Otaify, Vice President of Strategy and Communication at ACP, said: “In collaboration with ACP, SAUDIA has launched a direct flight to Birmingham, a city steeped in history and a renowned hub of the Industrial Revolution. As this new route becomes part of the growing air network facilitated by ACP, it significantly contributes to the flourishing tourism between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. It is through such bilateral initiatives that we witness the positive trajectory of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom’s relationship, as both countries strive to simplify and streamline travel processes. ACP is committed to empowering carriers in their efforts to unlock new destinations and travel experiences that showcase the rich cultural heritage and diverse attractions of Saudi Arabia.’’
The aircraft was welcomed at Birmingham Airport with a water salute, where SAUDIA held another celebration for the return flight from Birmingham to Jeddah. The event was attended by Nick Barton Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Airport, Simon Evans Head of Corporate Affairs and Marketing; Mohsen Abduljawwad, Head of Brand and Communication at ACP; Manal Alshehri, Vice President of Passenger Sales at SAUDIA; Fahad Almuhaysin, SAUDIA Country Manager – UK; Hesham Bindkhail, SAUDIA Europe Regional Manager along with members of SAUDIA and Birmingham Airport’s crew and team.
SAUDIA will operate 3 weekly flights between Jeddah and Birmingham, 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.
Birmingham is the third city in the United Kingdom, after London and Manchester, to be serviced by the airline, and the latest addition to 21 European destinations.