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Manchester Airport welcomes back Saudia

Posted 1 April 2014 · Add Comment

Today saw the return of a direct service between Manchester Airport and Jeddah - the first for over five years - as Saudia's inaugural flight touched down at Terminal Two.

Above: The Saudia crew cut the customary inaugural cake.

The new route, which will operate three times a week, will benefit businesses in the region and Saudi Arabia, plus it will also be incredibly beneficial to Greater Manchester’s Muslim community during festivals such as Hajj.

The inaugural flight was met with a customary welcome including a cake, balloons and flowers, with the first passengers given a complimentary upgrade. Welcome speeches were undertaken by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) CEO Charlie Cornish and Saudia’s GM of Passenger Sales and Services Europe, Mr Rashid Alajmi.

Charlie Cornish, MAG CEO, said: “It is not only great news for Manchester Airport to welcome Saudia back, but for the entire region. The introduction of their new three weekly Jeddah route will further strengthen connections from Manchester to the Middle East and sees another direct long haul service added to our ever increasing network of routes.

“This new route, which hasn’t been served for over five years, is testament to the strength of Manchester Airport's catchment area, which includes over 24 million people. We look forward to this direct service supporting the strong commercial, ethnic and educational relationships that exist between Saudi Arabia and the North West.”

Mr Rashid Alajmi from Saudia said: “We are very happy that our plans to return to Manchester have now come to fruition, and that we are able to offer North West customers a non-stop service to Saudi Arabia, plus Saudia looks forward to welcoming its valued customers back.

“Commercial ties between the North of England and Saudi Arabia have traditionally been very strong and this new service will give business customers in the region the opportunity to travel to Saudi Arabia without having to transfer en-route.

“The North of England's large Muslim population will also benefit from this new Manchester to Jeddah service when travelling to perform their religious pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah. The flight is so timed that they can reach the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina at the most convenient time. The many Saudi students who choose the North of England to further their studies in one of the region's many fine educational establishments, will find that using our service from Manchester Airport will be the easiest and most comfortable way home."

Above: The inaugural flight taxis out to the runway.

Saudia is the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia and offers three cabin classes.

Saudia last operated from Manchester Airport in 2007 and the new Jeddah route is expected to attract a range of leisure and business passengers. The flights will depart from Manchester Airport’s Terminal two on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Saudia plans to increase the frequency by the end of 2014.


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