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In June article in Business Traveller it said BMI were increasing their flights to Saudi and that “this could equate to as much as twice-daily to two of the routes, and daily to the remaining one”.
In fact the changes now announced don’t amount to any such thing, in fact the current Jeddah 3x per week direct flight is being re-routed via Riyadh on the way out and way back increasing flight times for people living in the other cities by 2.5 hours.
What “improvements” are BMI talking about then?
the only reason why BMI is stepping up by increasing flights to saudi is because they scared BA will get in there. there is only so many flights thats allowed between saudi and lhr. i assume BMI dont have the aircraft to do jeddah direct and increase riyadh to daily, so this is the only way. BA does offer a much better product than BMI and i think BMI is aware of that.
I’ve heard that BA is to restart flights to Riyadh from Heathrow, also from January 14 – maybe Business Traveller could confirm this? Also, i believe a Saudi all-business class airline called Al-Khayala is considering flights from Riyadh to Gatwick, also starting early next year.
Story I heard here was that BA had decided not to for security reasons, mainly to do with the number of passengers that seem to appear at the aircraft steps in private cars. But nothing to substantiate that.
Al Khayala has a good set up on business flights within Saudi and to DXB, however flights to DXB would be a big change of strategy and require new a/c.