Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

India’s Akasa Air to start Jeddah and Riyadh flights

Indian Hajj pilgrims say goodbye to relatives in Kashmir before leaving for Saudi Arabia Saqib Majeed/SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters
Indian Hajj pilgrims say goodbye to relatives in Kashmir before leaving for Saudi Arabia
  • Flights start as Hajj pilgrimage begins
  • Total of 21 flights in place by July
  • Akasa also flying to Kuwait

Saudi Arabia has licensed Indian low-cost airline Akasa Air to begin flights this week as the Hajj pilgrimage begins, giving a further boost to the kingdom’s tourism plans. 

The flights into Jeddah include two from Ahmedabad and 12 from Mumbai per week starting from 8 June, and seven into Riyadh from Mumbai per week starting from 4 July, the General Authority for Civil Aviation said. 

The schedule appeared to be aimed at capturing the Muslim pilgrim market in India ahead of the Hajj pilgrimage this month, as well as the summer season. The Hajj season peaks with Eid al-Adha, expected to start on 17 June.

The airline had originally said in March it would begin flights in late October, including to Kuwait. 

Saudi authorities said last month they would privatise domestic airports and issue more licences for low-cost operators. 

Dubai-based Flydubai, Saudi private operator Flynas and flyadeal, owned by national carrier Saudia, are among current popular carriers. 

Saudi Arabia wants tourism to cover 10 percent of GDP by 2030 as part of its vast economic transformation programme. But religious tourism still accounts for almost half of Saudi Arabia’s international arrivals. 

Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are planning to build a pilgrimage air terminal in Kuala Lumpur to increase pilgrim traffic. 

“This step is part of the aviation authority’s effort to strengthen aviation connectivity and make the kingdom a global logistics hub,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Latest articles

More than 24 million people visited the World Expo event at Expo City Dubai between October 2021 and March 2022

Construction begins at Expo City Dubai site

Construction has begun on the first residential properties at Expo City Dubai, part of a mixed-use master plan to repurpose the legacy site after the world fair came to a close two years ago. Master developer Expo City Dubai announced last week that it has awarded four key contracts for its Mangrove Residences. UAE-based USF […]

Saudi housing costs rose nearly 9% year on year in May

Saudi housing costs rise but inflation remains steady

Housing costs in Saudi Arabia rose nearly 9 percent year on year in May, but it was not enough to push overall inflation in the kingdom over 2 percent. The latest data from the General Authority for Statistics showed the annual inflation rate in Saudi Arabia was 1.6 percent in May, having remained at this […]

OTB Group has a presence in Dubai with its Maison Margiela store in the Dubai Mall

Chalhoub Group in venture with Italian luxury brand

Luxury distributor Chalhoub Group has entered into a joint venture with Italian fashion conglomerate OTB Group to expand the brand’s footprint in the Gulf. OTB (which stands for Only The Brave) owns the Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor&Rolf brands, the Staff International and Brave Kid companies, and holds a stake in the […]

Arid conditions brought about by the drought in Morocco are affecting the cost of sheep

Drought pushes up sheep price for Eid in Morocco

The price for a sheep in Morocco for the annual sacrifice at Eid al-Adha has increased on average at 10 times the 2.2 percent rate of inflation. A medium-sized female sheep costs MAD4000 ($400) as opposed to MAD3000 last year. This puts it out of range for many families in the country where a high […]