Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudia is to double its operations to the Maldives, according to the Maldives’ Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Abdul Hameed.
In an interview to Arab News, Ambassador Hameed expressed optimism over the prospect of Saudia increasing its operations from biweekly to four weekly flights, stating that the additional operations would increase the number of tourists from the kingdom to the archipelago.
Saudi commenced operations to the Maldives last year March from the capital Riyadh. According to the ambassador, the two new flights will operate from Jeddah to Velana International Airport.
He noted that the number of tourists hailing from Saudi Arabia had increased from 15,749 in 2015 to 21,944 last year.
However, Ambassador Hameed did not specify which date the new flights are expected to commence.
Meanwhile, King Salman of Saudi Arabia is scheduled to visit the Maldives on an official trip during the third week of this month.
Saudi Arabia is one of the key allies that President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has focussed on strengthening diplomatic relations with ever since he came to power. The government also plans to award a mega development project worth USD 10 billion in Faafu atoll to the Saudi royal family. The two nations are yet to disclose details of this project.