Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia Airlines) is planning to double its flights to Manila, Philippines in early 2015.
The carrier will start flying twice daily in the first quarter of 2015, upping the current frequency of its daily flights, Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, chief executive officer of Saudia Airlines, said in an interview during the opening of its new office in Makati City.
A Boeing 777-300ER will be used for the direct Manila-Saudi Arabia flights starting next year, upgrading from Boeing 747-400, Al-Hazmi said.
The Philippines is an important market for the airline since there is a large number of Filipinos working and living in Saudi Arabia, Saudia Airlines director-general Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said.
Currently, there are about 700,000 Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.
“Manila is considered as one of the airline’s most important stations,” Al-Jasser said.
Saudi ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Hassan and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr attended the opening of the airline’s office in Makati City.
Al-Hazmi said the new Saudia Airlines office in Zuellig Building, Makati Avenue is designed by Saudi engineers following the latest architectural designs and standards and is strategically located near embassies, airlines’ offices, and corporate headquarters.
“Our new strategy is to keep all departments including sales, marketing, reservation, and finance under one roof for the benefit of passengers and visitors,” Al-Hazmi added.
Saudia Airlines started commercially flying to Manila in 1982 with two flights per week, transporting 43,388 passengers.