Dubai-based airline Emirates is celebrating 30 years of operation to KSA’s Riyadh this month.
The first Emirate flight between Dubai and Riyadh took place in February 1990, staring with two services a week with a Boeing 727 craft. In 1997, the service began using a larger Boeing 777 to meet growing demand.
Expanding again in 2009, the route between the two Arab hubs became daily, doubling operations in 2011 and later growing to three dailies in 2012 and four in 2013.
In its three decades of operation, the airline has carried more than eight million passengers on the route. The flights in the last five years have also carried more than 138,000 tonnes of cargo on the route, including chilled meats, electronics and general cargo.
Emirates SVP commercial operations Gulf, Middle East & Central Asia Adil Al Ghaith said: “Riyadh is a major market for Emirates in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and region. We are embarking on a real milestone as we celebrate 30 years of service to the Kingdom’s capital and we take great pride in the role we play in providing global connectivity both for business and leisure passengers through Dubai.”
Al Ghaith continued: “Over the past three decades, we have introduced new products to Riyadh and provided award-winning inflight and on ground experiences to travellers. We’ve operated a special one-off A380 service twice to Riyadh in celebration of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's National Day. We also showcased flagship Airbus A380 last year at the first ever Saudi International Airshow and we currently serve Riyadh with our ‘gamechanger’ Boeing 777-300ER and another daily flight with our iconic A380, which has proved very popular with customers.”More than 63 Saudi Arabian nationals are employed across the Emirates Group. The airline currently offers 81 weekly nonstop flights from four Saudi Arabian airports to Dubai: Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Medina Al Munawarah.