On the sidelines of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Greece, the Saudi travel, tourism, and hospitality conglomerate, Elaf Group, has signed a partnership contract with Greece's national flag carrier, Aegean Airlines.
The agreement was signed between Elaf Group CEO Dr. Adel Ezzat and Aegean Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Roland Jaggi in Athens on Wednesday, July 27.
The partnership is expected to increase travel, tourism, and cultural exchange between the two friendly nations and bring more European tourists to Saudi Arabia which is home to a wide variety of tourist attractions as well as archeological and historic sites. Increased tourism is part of Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy which aims to provide a full range of services and benefits for tourists and foster a favorable investment environment for current and future investors.
Flights to Greece will depart from Riyadh and Jeddah in the first phase of the partnership, with other cities joining later.
“What Saudi Arabia and Greece have in common is multiple sites listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which speaks volumes about the two countries’ longstanding heritage,” said Dr. Ezzat. “By the same token, the two countries have been working toward bolstering relations with much-intensified cooperation in every field, and we expect our agreement with Aegean Airlines to help us accomplish the Saudi Vision 2030 objective of having 100 million visitors to the Kingdom annually by 2030, making the national tourism industry not only one of the Kingdom’s biggest sources of non-petroleum revenue, but also one of the biggest employers, both of which are also targets of the country’s ambitious long-term plan.”
Dr. Ezzat said: “Elaf Group is a leader in the Kingdom’s tourism and hospitality industries, and the deal with Aegean is part of the group’s strategy of expanding throughout these industries.”
As Greece’s national carrier, Aegean Airlines has a strong presence in high-end global destinations such as London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Munich, among others. Building on the strength of its extensive and strategic network, the two sides will jointly promote significant tourist attractions in both Saudi Arabia and Greece.
A colorful culture and storied history are also among other common treasures of Saudi Arabia and Greece. They are cooperating on initiatives to boost travel to each other’s popular destinations and foster more and stronger interaction between the two nations with broader, richer facilities. Elaf and Aegean will also work on programs that help shore up the tourist industry and coordinate efforts for participation in international events related to the tourism industry.