SriLankan Airlines will make Saudi Arabia ‘s city of Jeddah its 51st
global destination, launching a twice weekly service starting March 27,
2007.The airline signed a codeshare agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines
on February 27, for services to Jeddah on Tuesday and Friday.
Jeddah is SriLankan Airlines third destination in Saudi Arabia and the
ninth in the airline’s Middle East route network.
“Over 500,000 Sri Lankans’ are estimated to be working and living in
Saudi Arabia, with a significant number of them in Jeddah. We are
confident our new service will greatly enhance travel between Colombo
and Jeddah,” SriLankan Airlines’ Head of Worldwide Passenger Sales,
Manoj Gunawardena said.
The Sri Lankan Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Mr. A M J
Sadiq said “The proposed regular flight operations would be a
dream-come-true to the large Sri Lankan expatriate community in the
western region of Saudi Arabia, who have long yearned for this
Jeddah is also the principal gateway to Makkah, the holiest city of
Islam, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in
a lifetime, to perform the Haj pilgrimage. The holy city attracts
between two to three million visitors annually.
In 2006, SriLankan Airlines expanded its services to the Middle East,
increasing frequencies to a number of destinations including Dubai and
Doha, in a strategy to offer greater convenience for passengers
travelling through its Colombo hub.
The addition of Jeddah to SriLankan Airlines’ Middle East network is
also expected to complement the airlines’ Indian network, spanning ten
“SriLankan Airlines is the largest foreign carrier into India with 94
weekly flights, making us a preferred carrier to the subcontinent’s
residents,” SriLankan Airlines, Regional Manager Middle East, Mohamed
“We are continuously looking for new opportunities to enhance our
service and adding new destinations and increasing frequencies is a
vital component,” he added.