The new route’s launch comes in the wake of Saudia’s effort to restore normal operations following pandemic-related shutdowns. The inaugural
The new route’s comes in the wake of Saudia’s effort to restore normal operations following pandemic-related shutdowns. The inaugural route will fly from Jeddah to Seoul, with a layover in Riyadh, and back. Saudia’s CEO Captain Ibrahim Koshy that the route expansion was aimed at promoting bilateral relations by enabling easier travel for businesspeople, tourists and others.
The route expansion also coincides with the 60th anniversary of Saudi-Korean relations. Korea has maintained a historically warm relationship with the Middle East at large, and President Yoon Suk-Yeol has stepped up to bolster relations with Saudi Arabia specifically. The Kingdom is largest supplier of crude oil and is a major partner in Korean construction and infrastructure projects.
Expect that this route expansion will lead to a further strengthening of Saudi-Korean ties, likely through fast-tracking the ongoing Korea-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement , in a bid to open the Gulf States’ markets to Korean goods and vice versa. Expect also, following the establishment of the FTA, an inflow of Korean infrastructure investment into Saudi Arabia, especially in energy technology research, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 projects.