Saudia plans to increase its weekly flights to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou to four weekly from the start of next year, according to the industry website Airlineroute.net.
The flag carrier of Saudia Arabia will add a weekly flight from Jeddah alongside its three-times-a-week service from Riyadh.
Flight SV884 will leave Saudia Arabia’s second largest city at 2225 on Sundays, landing in Guangzhou at 1205 the next day. The return leg will leave on Mondays at 1350 and arrive in Jeddah at 2000. The flight will use a Boeing 772 aircraft.
The existing flight leaves Riyadh on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays at 2325, landing in Guangzhou at 1205 the next day. The return leg leaves Guangzhou on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 1350 and lands in Riyadh at 1900.
The airline’s decision to boost the number of flights may reflect the growing business links between Saudi Arabia and China, which now buys considerable amount of oil from the Middle Eastern country. Earlier this year, the Chinese energy company Sinopec signed a partnership with the huge Saudi oil company Aramco.
Chinese companies are also involved in large infrastructure projects in Saudia Arabia. The China Railway Construction Corporation, for example, has been involved in the Haramain High Speed Rail project. In 2008, China’s Guangdong Overseas Construction Group won a contract to construct 16 buildings at Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid University.
Several other airlines have also been increasing their links from Middle East and Africa to the major cities in China. In 2010, China Southern launched flights between Guangzhou and Nigeria (see story here), while Yemenia linked the city with Sana’a (see story here).
Ethiopian Airlines also said they plan to use one of their new Dreamliner aircraft to increase capacity on their Addis Ababa to Guangzhou flights.
For more information, visit www.saudiairlines.com