The first direct flight connecting Europe to Saudi Arabia’s ancient city, Alula, touched down on January 28.

The flight, which departed Charles de Gaulle in Paris and arrived at Alula International Airport, marked the start of a weekly non-stop service between the two destinations.

Running until March 27, 2022, the flight is operated by a Saudia Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Guests on board the inaugural flights attended equestrian events in Alula as part of the destination’s annual Winter at Tantora festival.

Timed to coincide with the winter events season in Alula, the new flight will encourage French visitors to explore the ancient desert city and experience one of the many arts, music and cultural festivals on offer.