SAUDIA, the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, has become the first airline to commence scheduled flights to the Red Sea International airport (RSI) in Saudi Arabia.

The maiden flight, SV1571, departed from King Khalid International airport in Riyadh at 10.50 am on Thursday, September 21, and completed the trip to RSI in two hours.

“We promised to make The Red Sea a place where people from all around the world would come to experience the best of Saudi culture, hospitality, and nature. Now, with the first flight touching down at Red Sea International Airport, and our first resorts receiving bookings, Saudi Arabia’s position on the global tourism map is all but secured,” said John Pagano, group CEO of Red Sea Global.

Red Sea International Airport is operated by daa International. As part of the sustainability efforts at the new airport, RSG, SAUDIA and daa International will also undertake joint research on the use of Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel (LCAF) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at Red Sea International.

SAUDIA will operate services between the two destinations every Thursday and Saturday.

On Mondays, the service will depart from Riyadh at 10.50am, with the return flight from RSI scheduled at 1.35pm the same day. On Saturdays, SAUDIA’s flight will depart from Riyadh at 12.50pm and take off from RSI at 3.35pm.

Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA, said, “This synergy [between SAUDIA, RSG and daa International] has resulted in the creation of an exemplary integrated work environment at the airport aligned with the highest quality standards. This enhancement aims to elevate the travel experience for our valued guests by providing well-trained personnel and ensuring the availability of all necessary equipment and supplies for seamless operations. Additionally, we are committed to offering digital self-service options to our guests.”

Initially, RSI has been opened for domestic flights to and from Riyadh and later Jeddah, before it expands to handle international flights from 2024.