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Surge in UAE-Saudi Arabia Air Travel Amid Umrah Demand in Ramadan

Surge in UAE-Saudi Arabia Air Travel Amid Umrah Demand in Ramadan

Air travel between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia is experiencing a significant surge, according to the General Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA) latest statistics. The increase is primarily due to the rising demand from those wishing to perform Umrah rituals during the holy month of Ramadan, with the peak being observed during the last ten days of the holy month.

The GCAA reported a 13.3 percent increase in the number of flights between the UAE and Saudi Arabia during March, which marked the beginning of Ramadan. The weekly flights rose to approximately 383, up from around 338 weekly flights in February.

Flydubai, in particular, increased its flights to the Kingdom by 40 percent, from 93 weekly flights in February to 130 flights in March. The airline covers a wide range of destinations including Abha, Jazan, Neom, AlUla, Qaisumah, Dammam, Qassim, Hail, Hofuf, Jeddah, Riyadh, Madinah, Taif, Yanbu, Najran, and Tabuk.

Etihad Airways also saw a significant increase in its flights to the Kingdom, with a rise of more than 22.2 percent from 63 flights in February to 77 flights in March, covering destinations such as Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh.

Emirates operated approximately 67 weekly flights to the Kingdom in March, covering Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, and Riyadh. Meanwhile, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi operated about 21 weekly flights including Dammah and Madinah, and Air Arabia operated approximately 88 weekly flights covering several destinations.

During the Ramadan and Umrah season, from March 11 to April 7, Etihad Airways successfully transported around 45,000 passengers to its destinations in Saudi Arabia. The airline highlighted Jeddah as the top choice for travelers among its destinations in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan, with flights to Jeddah achieving a passenger occupancy rate exceeding 95 percent.

Most travelers visiting Saudi Arabia during this period were from the UAE, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. As of March 15th, Etihad Airways has permanently increased its services to Jeddah and Riyadh, now operating a total of 77 weekly flights, with 28 flights to Jeddah, 28 flights to Riyadh, and 21 flights to Dammam.

This surge in air travel underscores the strong ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and the importance of religious tourism in fostering these connections.



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