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Increased Air Travel Between UAE and KSA During Ramadan Reflects Growing Demand for Umrah

Increased Air Travel Between UAE and KSA During Ramadan Reflects Growing Demand for Umrah

Dubai, UAE – A significant increase in air travel is strengthening the connection between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) This growth coincides with the holy month of Ramadan and the heightened demand for Umrah pilgrimages. Airlines have responded swiftly by bolstering flight offerings, experiencing near-capacity bookings in the process.

Data Reveals Upward Trend

Data furnished by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) showcases a compelling 13.3% year-on-year increase in flight operations between the two nations during March 2024, coinciding with Ramadan's commencement. This translates to approximately 383 weekly flights, a significant rise compared to the 338 flights recorded in February 2024. The data underscores the undeniable role Ramadan plays in driving travel demand, with a projected peak during the last ten days of the holy month, traditionally considered especially sacred.

Airlines Respond with Strategic Capacity Enhancements

Airlines have exhibited agility in responding to this exceptional demand. Flydubai, for instance, strategically increased its flights to the Kingdom by 40%, expanding its network to encompass popular destinations like Abha, Jazan, and Madinah. Similarly, Etihad Airways witnessed a notable rise in passenger volume, prompting a network expansion exceeding 22% with additional services to key cities like Jeddah and Riyadh. Airlines such as Emirates and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi have also strategically augmented their flight schedules to cater to the rising tide of travelers.

Etihad Airways: A Case Study in Responsive Strategy

Exemplifying the effectiveness of this strategic approach, Etihad Airways reported transporting an impressive 45,000 passengers to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan and the Umrah season. Notably, flights to Jeddah, a revered pilgrimage destination, achieved an exceptional passenger occupancy rate exceeding 95%. This not only reinforces the robust demand but also underscores Etihad's unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional and luxurious travel experiences.

Catering to a Global Clientele

The surge in air travel extends beyond regional borders. Travelers from across the globe, particularly from the UAE, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, are drawn to Saudi Arabia to fulfill their spiritual aspirations during this sacred period. Recognizing this diverse clientele, Etihad Airways offers a variety of aircraft options, including the Airbus A320 for shorter routes and the larger Boeing 777 and 787 models for their popular Jeddah route, ensuring a comfortable and luxurious travel experience for passengers on all journeys.

Commitment to Long-Term Growth

The burgeoning demand for air travel displays no signs of abating. Recognizing this sustained trend, Etihad Airways has implemented a permanent increase in its services to Jeddah and Riyadh, now offering a comprehensive 77 weekly flights. This strategic expansion underscores the airline's commitment to facilitating seamless travel experiences for discerning luxury travelers seeking to embark on their spiritual journeys throughout the year.


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