Saudi Arabia’s national carrier flynas last week launched its global flight routes program with its inaugural nonstop flight from Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport to London Gatwick.
XY 21 touched down at exactly 9:25 a.m. (London local time) and was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute on touchdown at Gatwick Airport, where it was met by Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer at London Gatwick along with other senior executives from the airport. The departure flight XY 22 was due to return to the Kingdom at 10:50 a.m. (London local time).
Flynas CEO Raja Azmi and Saudi media were on board the inaugural flight and welcomed at the gate with a cake cutting ceremony.
“Launching the first of our European long-haul routes is a very exciting day for flynas and we are very pleased to now offer our passengers a nonstop flight to London as part of our international network,” said Azmi.
“The flynas global flight routes program will cover new destinations across Europe, Asia and Africa, all flying out of our international hub in Jeddah in 2014. The international network will also include flights to Manchester, in addition to Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Karachi and Casablanca.”
Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer at London Gatwick, said: “We are very pleased to welcome the first passengers from Jeddah to London Gatwick as we continue to build on our already successful long-haul network. Flynas is the first low-cost carrier to serve Saudi Arabia from the UK, introducing further innovation into the long-haul, low-cost, business model."
He added: “Gatwick has spent over 1 billion pounds on new facilities in order to become London’s airport of choice for passengers and airlines from around the world. Saudi Arabia is designated as a High Growth Market by UKTI, and we believe that this new, highly competitive service to Jeddah will therefore become an important additional business and leisure link for the UK.”