ALULA, Saudi Arabia: Carrying 75 passengers on board, the inaugural SAUDIA direct flight from Paris touched down in AlUla on Thursday night.
The flight departed from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport and arrived at AlUla International Airport at 10:30 p.m., after a comfortable five-hour flight.
“Today we celebrate a milestone in the history of Franco-Saudi cooperation for AlUla’s development: the inauguration of the Paris AlUla flight operated by Saudi_Airlines,” the French Agency for AlUla development tweeted.
French ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ludovic Pouille hailed the step, thanking Saudia and the Royal Commission for AlUla.
“My dear French friends, come and discover the treasures of AlUla”, he tweeted in Arabic.
Marking the first direct flight from Europe, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was welcomed at AlUla Airport by Saudi officials including AlUla Airport Director, Eng. Abdulwahab Bokhari.
Guests on the inaugural flight included officials from SAUDIA, Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of the French Agency for the Development of AlUla (AFALULA).
Guests arriving in AlUla will attend the equestrian events as part of the destination’s Winter at Tantora festival including Pierre Durand, ex-Olympic Champion show-jumper.
Timed to coincide with the winter event season in AlUla; the new flight will welcome French visitors to explore the ancient desert city and take part in one of many arts, music, cultural events on offer.