Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) has launched a direct non-stop flight linking Europe with the historical city of AlUla in Saudi Arabia. The flight marked the first direct flight from Europe to the Saudi tourist destination, dubbed 'the world’s largest living museum'.

The first direct flight by Saudi Arabia's national airline from Paris to the historical AlUla city touched down on Friday night 28 January with 75 passengers on board.

SAUDIA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner departed from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and arrived at AlUla International Airport at 10:30pm, with flying time of 4 hours 42 minutes.

Guests onboard the Saudia flight included ex-Olympic Champion show-jumper Pierre Durand; Phillip Jones, chief destination management and marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla; and Gerard Mestrallet, executive chairman of the French Agency for AlUla Development. They were welcomed at the AlUla airport by Saudi officials including AlUla airport director Abdulwahab Bokhari.

The weekly non-stop flights will operate until March 27, when the ongoing Winter at Tantora festival comes to an end. The winter Tantora festival features an array of offerings spanning music, arts, fashion, food and wellness.

AlUla has been establishing itself not only as a historical destination in recent years, but also a cultural one, with a host of international artists performing at outdoor concerts and at the majestic mirrored Maraya Concert Hall.

New Direct Flight to Uganda

Saudi Arabia and Uganda are connected by nonstop scheduled flights from February 2nd with the launch of a new route by SAUDIA.

The SkyTeam alliance member has begun service between Riyadh and Entebbe, Uganda.

The new service is operating with two round trips per week using Airbus A330 aircraft.

Entebbe becomes Saudia's fourth destination in East Africa, joining Addis Ababa, Mauritius and Nairobi.

Uganda Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Isaac Biruma Sebulime and SAUDIA VP Marketing & Product Management, Essam Akhonbay
Uganda Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Isaac Biruma Sebulime and SAUDIA VP Marketing & Product Management, Essam Akhonbay

New Service to Thailand

SAUDIA has also announced its plan to resume direct flights to Thailand in May this year.

The announcement came following agreements reached between Saudi Arabia and Thailand to upgrade diplomatic relations to the level of ambassadors, as well as to enhance economic cooperation, and explore areas of joint investment.