Saudi Arabia enhances air connectivity with China

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Saudi Arabia-China air connectivity
Rep. Image | Courtesy: Pixabay @ Pexels

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has authorized China Southern Airlines to commence regular passenger and cargo services, between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China.

According to the statement, “Starting April 16, 2024, flights will operate from Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen to Riyadh.” The summer 2024 schedule will see four-passenger or commercial flights and three air cargo flights weekly.

The introduction of these new routes will strengthen the Kingdom’s global connectivity and encourage greater competition in the Saudi aviation sector, in line with the Kingdom’s Saudi Aviation Strategy.

The strategy will more than double Saudi Arabia’s connectivity by 2030, including through a dedicated Saudi Air Connectivity Program to support the Kingdom’s aviation and tourism sectors.

The announcement follows a February 2024 visit by a GACA-led Saudi delegation to China, where a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen air transport and airfreight was signed by GACA President Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Dauilej, and Civil Aviation Administration of China Administrator Song Zhiyong.

Commenting on the decision, Ali Mohammed Rajab, Executive Vice President for Air Transport and International Cooperation, said that, “At GACA, we welcome this latest announcement of new routes to Saudi Arabia, which provides a welcome boost to Saudi Arabia’s global connectivity, demonstrates the progress that is being made in delivering on the objectives of the Saudi Aviation Strategy and will create more competitive and empowered aviation and tourism sectors.”

“GACA is committed to opening Saudi Arabia‘s aviation sector to ensure long-term competitiveness and growth. Today marks yet another step in Saudi Arabia’s vision to deliver seamless experiences that exceed the expectations of passengers, businesses, and investors. Saudi Arabia is unleashing unprecedented aviation opportunities as the Kingdom connects to the world,” Mohammed Rajab further added.

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