Saudia launches flights from Riyadh, Jeddah with Beijing
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Saudia launches flights connecting Riyadh, Jeddah with Beijing

Saudia launches flights connecting Riyadh, Jeddah with Beijing

The new routes reinforce Saudi Arabia’s commitment to boost the growth of the tourism and aviation sectors

Gulf Business
Saudia inaugurates flights from Riyadh, Jeddah to Beijing

Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier, Saudia, has launched new direct flights connecting Riyadh and Jeddah with the Chinese capital Beijing, further strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries, according to state news agency Saudi Press Agency.

The inaugural flight from Jeddah to Beijing took off on August 4, 2023, and the Riyadh-Beijing flight on August 6, 2023. These new routes provide around 165 million people in northern China with direct access to Saudi Arabia, boosting mutual tourism and strengthening the growing international cooperation between Saudi Arabia and global aviation markets.

The new routes, which were launched in partnership with the kingdom’s Air Connectivity Programme (ACP), will reinforce the country’s commitment to boost the growth of the travel and aviation sectors.

“The launch of this new route comes shortly after the hugely successful 10th Arab-China business forum in Riyadh and represents an important development in our ongoing efforts to expand air connectivity,” said Ali Rajab, CEO of Air Connectivity Programme.

“This concerted effort underscores our commitment to creating a truly unforgettable experience for travellers from Beijing and its environs, showcasing the warmth of Saudi hospitality and the remarkable beauty of our country.”

ACP believes additional routes to and from Saudi Arabia will be launched in the second half of this year and the first half of 2024, further broadening its aviation network and international accessibility.

The effort to expand is reflected in the improved global air connectivity classification of Saudi Arabia by the International Air Transport Association – the country moved from 27th place in 2019 to 13th  in 2022.

“Partnerships, like the one with ACP, play a crucial role in achieving this goal. Together, we have successfully launched routes, including Birmingham, UK, and Zurich, Switzerland, that have enabled us to connect the world to Saudi Arabia,” said Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia.

Saudia flights boost bilateral relations

Meanwhile, China is a priority growth market for ACP, which focuses on broader tourism considerations, including the overall travel experience and the quality of airport facilities.

Saudia’s new routes come as Riyadh and Beijing have stepped up their bilateral relations beyond energy amid a push to boost investments in non-oil sectors. China’s foreign direct investment in the Arab world totalled $23bn in 2021 with $3.5bn invested in Saudi Arabia.

During the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in June, $10bn investment agreements were signed on the first day of the business conference in Riyadh across different industries including technology, renewable energy, agriculture, real estate, metals, tourism and healthcare.

These include a $5.6bn (SAR21bn) agreement between Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment and Chinese electric car maker Human Horizons to set up an automotive research, development, manufacturing, and sales joint venture.

Read: Saudia launches first flight to Birmingham Airport

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