September 13 2023  |  Airline & Terminal News

SAUDIA to serve Red Sea International airport

By Alex Preston

Left to right: Nicholas Cole, CEO of daa International; John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global, and Capt. Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with multi-project developer Red Sea Global (RSG), and daa International, the operator of Red Sea International (RSI) airport, under which the airline will become the first to operate in and out of RSI, once it becomes operational.

Along with the first three resorts at The Red Sea destination the airport is due to open later this year for domestic flights to and from Riyadh with Jeddah added later, before expanding to handle international flights from 2024.

The agreement will see SAUDIA commence regular scheduled services to and from RSI. It also provides a framework for the three organizations to undertake joint research on the use of Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel (LCAF) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at Red Sea International Airport. The use of electric vertical take-off and landing jets (eVTOL) to reduce emissions from air travel to The Red Sea will also be evaluated.

“In 2016, His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, set out a vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A vision for a thriving country, one that was recognized as a global hub, where people from all around the world would come to experience the best of Saudi culture, hospitality and nature,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global in company statement from September 12.

“When the first commercial flight lands at Red Sea International, it won’t just be a point of personal pride for Red Sea Global. It will be a milestone moment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in making that vision a reality. It is fitting, therefore, that the Kingdom’s flag carrier, SAUDIA, will be first to operate from our destination,” added Pagano.

The agreement expands on daa International’s existing relationship with RSG as the operator of its international airport. daa will continue to manage the airport and work with SAUDIA on various activities, such as the allocation of airport gates and counters.

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