Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) celebrates ten years of operations in China. The kingdom’s flag carrier began operations in Guangzhou on March 27, 2011, initially flying three times a week with a Boeing 777-200.
It was then upgraded to a B777-300 in 2017 and then a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2019. The airline has gradually increased its market presence and airline operations in China over the past decade in response. the strong growth of passengers and the growing demand for greater connectivity between the kingdom and the country of East Asia. In 2011, the route was operated as a Jeddah-Riyadh-Guangzhou flight, which then grew to seven nonstop flights currently, four from Riyadh and three from Jeddah. Saudia operates from the new Terminal 2 of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, which opened in April 2018. Saudia was the first international airline to move its operations to the new terminal.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, Saudia suspended flights to Guangzhou between February 1 and July 22, 2020. During the period of suspension of passenger flights, the airline transferred its commercial flights to cargo only and , as a result, transported 543 tons of medical equipment and aid supplies. The Riyadh – Guangzhou route was the first route in the airline’s network to use its commercial air slots for cargo purposes.
Speaking on this occasion, Reham Zarei, Country Manager for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, welcomed: “Thanks to the exceptional contributions of the national airline to the global efforts to fight the pandemic, the Saudi Arabia route -Guangzhou was instrumental in these unprecedented times. “Leading into the tenth year of operation, the airline has grown from strength to strength through its presence in China, providing an important air link connecting economic and trade links through Saudia’s operational centers in Riyadh and Jeddah “.
Saudia seamlessly connects routes to mainland China from the Northern Hemisphere through its two hubs (Jeddah and Riyadh) and conveniently provides air links within China to national routes through its codeshare partnership with China Southern Airlines. Saudia and China Southern Airlines have been long-standing partners since the start of operations in Guangzhou.
In recent years, Saudia has invested significantly in its fleet of more than 145 narrow and widebody aircraft and operates one of the youngest fleets in the sky, with an average aircraft age of 5 years.
The airline’s network of routes includes more than 90 destinations on four continents to the 28 national airports of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a fleet of 145 aircraft averaging 5 years old. Saudi Arabia lifted flight bans to the country at the end of February 2021, with travel restrictions remaining in place (tests, quarantine, etc.). It is said to be in negotiations to acquire around 70 Airbus A321neo and additional Boeing 787s and 777s, according to online newspaper Maaal.