flynas, a low-cost carrier out of Saudi Arabia, has announced the launch of non-stop flights from Jeddah to Manchester Airport from May 2nd 2014.
The move is part of its ambitious Global Flight Routes program.
The flights will operate three times a week, offering easy access to Britain’s north.
The service will be complemented by non-stop flights between Jeddah and London Gatwick, offering access to the entire country.
The announcement was made by Raja Azmi, chief executive, flynas, at a press conference held at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate, attended by Sulaiman Al Hamdan, Group chief executive NAS Holding, Charlie Cornish, group chief executive, Manchester Airports Group and other senior executives of the airline.
The United Kingdom is the first European nation to be served by the Saudi-based carrier and highlights its popularity for both inbound and outbound traffic.
Saudi Arabia has recently received a lot of interest from the British travel trade as a key growth market of inbound visitors.
According to the national tourism agency VisitBritain, by 2020 Saudi Arabia is predicted to have the highest projected value percentage growth of 181 per cent amongst the twenty major and emerging markets in its tourism strategy.
The country also features among the top five highest spending markets for Britain, with an average spend per visit of £2,354 compared to an all-visitor average of £600 per visit.
flynas’ flights are also expected to serve the high volume of business travel between the two nations as well as offer affordable fares to the UK’s significant Muslim population, for whom Saudi Arabia continues to be a key destination for religious tourism.
“The expansion of our network to include destinations that are seen as high-growth markets is a key element of our strategy to lead the airline into a new chapter of aggressive development,” said Azmi.
“It’s no surprise that the UK was the first country to be picked in Europe for the expansion of our route network.
“We expect the opening of the Manchester route to be popular among students and their families as well as business travellers to Saudi Arabia from the north of Britain.”