Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, welcomed passengers to the newly-opened King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah earlier.
The first flight, an Airbus A320, flight number SV 1291, was to Gurayat, a northern domestic airport in Saudi Arabia.
The flight departed Jeddah at 05:15 local time and arrived at 07:10 in Gurayat.
The new Jeddah International Airport opened to operate a select number of flights as part of a soft-opening phase.
Saudi Arabian Airlines vice president of corporate communications, Abdulrahman Altayeb, expressed how the airport’s opening begins yet another new phase to Saudia’s growth plans.
He said: “The opening is a highly momentous occasion for the nation, the airline, and for the 137 valued guests that flew to Gurayat on SV1291.
“The entire airline operations team has been preparing for and anticipating this important milestone, which marks a new era for Saudia’s operations out of Jeddah.”
He added: “The gradual transition of the Saudia fleet to the New Jeddah International Airport means that capacity will significantly increase, and the overall guest experience will be transformed with the state-of-the-art technological systems that are now in place and ready for our guests.”
The existing airport in Jeddah and the new terminal will continue to operate concurrently, with a majority of the Saudia network set to remain operating from the existing main airport.
A phased transition will take place, with flights gradually moved and starting operations from the new airport.
Passengers will be notified, and tickets will be clearly marked, indicating which terminal the flight will be operating out of.
The airline is currently on an accelerated transformation track, revitalising every aspect of its airline business, from operations, to fleet management, network growth and optimisation; guest experience and expanding Hajj and Umrah capacity.
The SV2020 Transformation Plan is tracking steadily ahead of schedule, and the opening of the new Jeddah International Airport is a key enabler for Saudia to achieve its network, fleet and passenger growth targets for the coming years.
Take a look at a series of images from the event here.