• New agreement marks LOT Polish Airlines’ entry into the Saudi air travel market
• Warsaw-Riyadh route to strengthen EU connectivity with the Kingdom
• Route will offer three flights per week, with over 58,000 seats annually
Riyadh-: The Saudi Air Connectivity Program (ACP) and LOT Polish Airlines have entered into a new agreement aimed at creating air travel connections between Poland and Saudi Arabia for the first time. This collaboration will see the launch of a direct flight route connecting the two capital cities, Warsaw and Riyadh, with ticket sales set to commence in June 2024.
The announcement took place at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation (ICAN2023) event in Riyadh, hosted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
Marking ACP’s twelfth air connection from Europe to Saudi Arabia, the newly established route will be a key enabler to grow inbound visitation from Poland and increase connectivity with Eastern Europe via Warsaw. As demand for air travel from the EU to Saudi Arabia continues to increase, the route will stimulate growth in tourism, trade, and cultural exchange.
With inbound passenger numbers from Poland to the Kingdom up by 43% in 2023 (year-on-year), the Warsaw-Riyadh route will feature three weekly flights, totaling 156 roundtrip flights annually. It will accommodate 58,968 seats annually on LOT’s Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
Michał Fijoł, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, commented, ‘’While planning our network of connections, we strive to provide our passengers with inspiration to explore the world. Therefore, the opening of Saudi Arabia to tourism is a source of joy, and the best evidence is the agreement on direct air connections between Saudi Arabia and Poland. I believe Riyadh will be an interesting destination for those who like to discover new, unexpected places. In less than 7 hours spent on board the Dreamliner PLL LOT, our passengers will be able to discover new, inspiring landmarks.’’
The collaboration between ACP and LOT Polish Airlines represents the Program’s third international partnership with an air carrier, building on the recent cooperation with Hainan Airlines earlier this year and Wizz Air last year. This aligns with the Program’s business objective of facilitating route expansion and increasing capacity to serve Saudi Arabia’s growing inbound tourism demand.
Ali Rajab, CEO of ACP, highlighted, “The collaboration between ACP and LOT Polish Airlines is a significant step forward in our efforts to advance air connectivity in the Kingdom. Through this partnership, we’re not only connecting two cities but also creating a gateway for Polish travelers to explore the unique experiences Saudi Arabia has to offer.’’
He added, ‘’The new Warsaw-Riyadh route aligns perfectly with ACP’s goals of expanding air networks with the European market and providing seamless travel experiences for passengers. We look forward to working with LOT Polish Airlines and welcoming Polish visitors to embark on their own journeys of discovery.’’
In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the Kingdom is drastically scaling up its air route capacity, aiming to increase accessibility and become a leading aviation hub in the Middle East. The Ministry of Tourism has expanded e-visa eligibility to visitors from six new countries, bringing the total to 63.