- Red Sea International Airport program, scheduled to open later this year, will be a significant achievement for Saudi Arabia in transforming its vision into reality.
- Saudia has signed an agreement with the airport developer and will be the first airline to operate inbound and outbound flights from Red Sea International Airport.
- Although only domestic flights to and from Riyadh and later Jeddah will be available, the airport will expand to accept international flights by the first half of next year.
In late April, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formally revealed more behind-the-scenes for the Red Sea International Airport program, which was scheduled to open by the end of this year and serve at least a million passengers by 2030. With the year-end fast approaching, new developments in the program will see Saudia as the first airline to operate from the new airport.
What’s to come for the Red Sea program
The Red Sea International Airport program began construction in 2021, approximately 15 kilometers inland from the coast of the Red Sea, hence the name. Designed by Foster + Partners, the airport’s development is also done in collaboration with architecture studio Jacobs to achieve a more extraordinary design evolution.
Despite a final construction completion date scheduled for 2030, the first phase of the Red Sea International Airport program is expected to open later this year, alongside the first three of 50 hotels also part of the overall program. And when the airport does open, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will have further advanced in its strategy to become a more significant aviation market.
Photo: Red Sea Global
John Pagano, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Red Sea Global – the developer of Red Sea International Airport, proudly seconds this expected notion as he highlights:
“When the first commercial flight touches down at Red Sea International, it won’t merely be a matter of personal pride for Red Sea Global. It will better symbolize a landmark achievement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in transforming that vision into a tangible reality.”
Anticipating the first commercial flight
Speaking of the first commercial flight, the developer recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudia and daa International – the selected operator of Red Sea International Airport. Under this new agreement, the flag carrier is on course to become the inaugural carrier to operate inbound and outbound flights from the new airport.
Photo: Red Sea Global
Considering how the airport will open for domestic flights to and from Riyadh, it would be interesting to see the routes of Saudia’s inaugural flights out of Red Sea International Airport. The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Captain Ibrahim Koshy, celebrated:
“This agreement marks a new chapter in Saudi Arabia’s aviation history. As wings of Vision 2030, Saudia’s contribution is to be an enabler in attaining giga project targets, and our involvement as the first airline to operate to and from Red Sea International Airport is a source of pride for us all.”
Chief Executive Officer of daa International, Nicholas Cole, supported this celebration and emphasized that with the company’s unparalleled airport management expertise, working with Saudia will be a breeze to ensure a genuinely unique experience for all passengers who pass through Red Sea International Airport.
Although the new airport will only be open for domestic flights to and from Riyadh initially, Red Sea International Airport will be open to flight services to and from Jeddah before expanding to accept international flights within the first half of next year.
Photo: EvrenKalinbacak I Shutterstock
With Saudia as the local inaugural carrier, it’d be interesting to see which airline would be the inaugural carrier to operate international flight services to and from Red Sea International Airport.
Are you excited about the anticipated opening of Red Sea International Airport? Let us know in the comments below.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Dammam Airport, Jeddah Airport, Riyadh Airport
- Year Founded:
- Ibrahim Alkoshy
- Saudi Arabia