There was fanfare last week at Jeddah’s T1 terminal as Etihad Airways made its inaugural arrival to the new Saudi Arabian airport. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute. The celebration marks ever-increasing ties being formed between Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and Etihad – the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.
A special livery for the special day
“The bespoke livery celebrates the UAE’s close historical ties with Saudi Arabia, through an Islamic calligraphic and Mashrabiya latticework design in the Kingdom’s national colors.”
Upon the arrival of the aircraft at the gate, a special reception was held. The reception included a ribbon-cutting ceremony as well, which was attended by Nasir Al Ketbi General Consular of UAE, Essam Fouad, Director General of King Abdulaziz Airport, Captain Fahd Cynndy, CEO of Saudi Ground Services, Yousef Attiah, Director General of Terminal 1, and management from Etihad Airways.
“The introduction of the new terminal in Jeddah and the warm welcome we’ve received is a demonstration of our commitment to the Saudi market and it’s a reflection towards the deep relationship between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…As Etihad Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines continue to strengthen their partnership, the new terminal will also provide convenient travel options to our customers, boosting the codeshare connectivity on joint services.” -Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group
The increasing partnership between Saudia and Etihad
Etihad has been serving Saudi Arabia since December 2004 and this year celebrates 15 years of flying to the country. According to its website, Etihad currently operates 84 weekly passenger frequencies from Abu Dhabi to Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, and Dammam using A320, A330, B777, and B787.
In recent times Etihad has been expanding its codeshare with Saudia. Codeshare flights include flights operated by Saudia to:
- Port Sudan
Alternately, Saudia has been codesharing Etihad-operated flights to the following destinations:
Etihad continues by saying that Saudia will progressively add codeshares on Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 other destinations in nine countries. Destinations include Amsterdam, Baku, Brussels, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Phuket, Nagoya, Tokyo and Seoul. However, these additions are subject to regulatory approvals.
Passengers can look forward to having a new terminal experience when flying Etihad to Jeddah. Prior to arriving at Terminal 1, Etihad Airways flights to Jeddah utilized the old terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA).
The bigger overall story with this event is the ever-increasing partnership forming between the two airlines. We’ll have to wait and see how beneficial these new codeshares will be for each airline.
Have you been to Jeddah’s new Terminal 1? Let us know how the experience was by leaving a comment!