SAUDIA’s Growth Trajectory: Increased Capacity and New Destinations


SAUDIA, the flagship carrier of Saudi Arabia, has increased its international capacity by 15% this summer compared to the same period last year, along with more capacity across its domestic network, following a busy Hajj season. The airline is set to operate more than 32,400 flights in July and August, carrying over 13.7 million passengers during the first half of the year.

International Operations

The airline is offering over 4.2 million seats on its international network in July and August, a 16% increase on the same period last year, resulting in over 14,800 international flights over the two-month period, a 15% increase compared to last year. The airline’s operational plan will be monitored by a specialist team at Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI), the airline’s MRO arm.

SAUDIA’s international expansion has resulted in a 52% increase in international passengers during the first half of 2023, driven by growth in tourism and business demand. The airline handled 7.4 million international passengers on over 36,700 flights in the first half of the year, representing a 24% improvement compared to last year.

Domestic Operations

The airline will offer over 3.2 million seats on around 17,600 domestic flights. Overall, in July and August, SAUDIA will provide over 7.4 million seats on over 32,400 flights, a 10% increase in capacity compared to last year.

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Success During Hajj Season

During the recently concluded Hajj season, the airline offered over 1.2 million seats for pilgrims traveling to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA, praised the airline’s operational efficiency and facilities for standing up to heavy demand during this period.

New International Destinations

Earlier this year, SAUDIA announced 25 new additions to its international network, including destinations such as Lisbon, London Gatwick, Malaga, Johannesburg, and Baghdad. The airline launched its new service from Jeddah to Birmingham this week, which is its fourth UK airport after Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester. By the end of 2023, SAUDIA will serve over 100 destinations with its fleet of more than 160 aircraft.

Fleet Expansion

SAUDIA inducted its first Airbus A321neo in April, followed by its second earlier this month. The airline will eventually operate 20 A321neos, all of which are scheduled for delivery by 2026.

Image via Aviation Flights/ Flickr

With an increase in international and domestic capacity, SAUDIA is poised to meet the growing demand for air travel in the region. The airline’s expansion into new international destinations and the induction of new aircraft into its fleet is expected to further boost its growth and revenue in the coming years.

What new international destinations would you like to see SAUDIA add to its network?

Also, you might be interested in reading: Saudia Records 94% Increase in Global Travelers in Q1 2023

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