Saudi Arabia resumes Jeddah to Toronto flights after 5 years

Saudi Arabia's national airline, Saudia, is set to resume flights to Canada after a five-year diplomatic dispute. The airline will operate flights to Toronto Pearson International Airport this winter, marking a significant addition to its international flight network.

Global Competition and Expansion

Saudi Arabia is dedicated to catering to a variety of demographics and boosting international competition in the aviation sector. This action comes after the Hajj season drove a 15% increase in its global network during the summer.

Flight Schedule Details

Saudi Arabia will resume flights to Toronto (YYZ) from King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah starting on December 2, 2023. Starting at 09:25, Flight SV61 will take off from JED and arrive in Toronto at 15:25 after a nonstop 14-hour flight. SV62, the return flight, is scheduled to depart from YYZ at 18:15 and arrive in Jeddah at 13:45 on December 3. The flight to JED is shorter, taking about eleven and a half hours.

Aircraft and Passenger Experience

Saudia plans to use a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate the route six times a week. The airplane, which is renowned for its roomy and well-designed layout, has 274 economy-class seats and 24 business-class seats. Travelers can anticipate cutting-edge services to improve their trip.

A Strategic Collaboration

This service is part of Saudi Arabia's collaboration with the Air Connectivity Program (ACP), which supports tourism growth in Saudi Arabia by improving flight connections and expanding routes to new destinations. With the addition of flights to Toronto, Saudia now serves nearly 10 destinations in partnership with the ACP.

Diplomatic History

In 2018, Saudi Arabia suspended flights to Canada following Canada's criticism of Saudi Arabia's human rights record. This led to diplomatic tensions, including the recall of ambassadors and restrictions on citizens studying in Canada.

Air Connectivity Program

Established in 2021, the ACP bridges tourism and aviation stakeholders. It aligns with the National Tourism Strategy's goal of positioning Saudi Arabia as a global leader in tourism air connectivity. The service to Toronto supports this vision and aims to connect the world with Saudi Arabia, facilitating tourism, business, and pilgrimage industries.

Growing tourism and aviation

The ACP recognizes Saudi Arabia as one of the world's fastest-growing tourism and aviation destinations. This growth is attributed to the country's government strategy, financial commitment, and various tourism locations. By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to connect 250 destinations through 29 airports, accommodating over 300 million annual passengers.

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