Saudi Arabia’s national airline, SAUDIA, carried 5.1 million passengers in the first quarter of 2022, up 75 percent over the same quarter the previous year, according to the carrier’s performance report.
In the first quarter of this year, SAUDIA operated nearly 40,000 flights, up 44 percent from the first quarter of 2021.
Director-General of the airline Ibrahim al-Omar said that as the momentum for travel continues to grow, SAUDIA will “increase frequencies and introduce new destinations” on their network throughout 2022.
“This strategy is especially important in light of the Kingdom’s megaprojects and transformation agenda for the tourism industry, as we continue to serve as the ‘Wings of Vision 2030’ and welcome the world to Saudi Arabia,” al-Omar added.
The airline’s fleet of 144 aircraft flew a total of 101,600 hours throughout this period, accounting for a 77 percent increase compared to the first quarter of last year.
SAUDIA’s CEO, Captain Ibrahim Koshy, said that the strong travel traffic results represented “the culmination of efforts of the airline’s staff, who have been the driving force behind the airline’s comeback to pre-COVID levels of activity.”
“As demand returned, our strong airline business fundamentals have translated into a significant improvement in our performance. This achievement has been made possible by the commitment of our hardworking employees combined with our business agility,” he added.
Over the past few months, Saudi Arabia has hosted numerous exciting entertainment and cultural events which have contributed to the surge in the number of guests traveling to the Kingdom.
The strong uptick in air travel is an indication that the Kingdom is well on its way to a full recovery from the pandemic period, a statement released by the carrier on Tuesday stated.
SAUDIA recently announced several new destinations to its global network in anticipation of a busy summer, including Bangkok, Barcelona, Malaga, Marrakech, Moscow, Seoul, Entebbe, Amsterdam, Chicago, and Mykonos. Additionally, the Kingdom’s national carrier plans to add extra flights and seats where necessary to cater to soaring demand.