By Sam Bridge
Airline receives traditional water cannon salute as Dreamliner 787 with Saudi livery touched down at Terminal 1 at King Abdulaziz International Airport
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has become the first foreign carrier to operate flights to King Abdulaziz International Airport's new Terminal 1 in Jeddah.
The airline received a special reception - welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute – as the Dreamliner 787 with the distinctive Saudi Arabia livery touched down.
Robin Kamark, chief commercial officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The introduction of the new terminal in Jeddah and the warm welcome we’ve received is a demonstration of our commitment to the Saudi market and it’s a reflection towards the deep relationship between the UAE and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“As Etihad Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines continue to strengthen their partnership, the new terminal will also provide convenient travel options to our customers, boosting the codeshare connectivity on joint services.”
Etihad Airways flights to Jeddah relocated from the old terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport to the new terminal with effect from last week.
The airline has been serving Saudi Arabia since December 2004 and is currently celebrating its 15 years of flying to the kingdom. Today, Etihad operates 84 weekly passenger frequencies from Abu Dhabi to Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, and Dammam.
Etihad had recently expanded its codeshare with Saudi Arabian Airlines, placing its codeshare on flights to Peshawar, Multan, Port Sudan and Vienna while Saudi Arabian Airlines also places its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad, Belgrade, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Lagos, Melbourne, Moscow-Domodedovo, Rabat, Seychelles and Sydney.
Saudi Arabian Airlines will progressively add its code to Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 other destinations in nine countries including Amsterdam, Baku, Brussels, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Phuket, Nagoya, Tokyo and Seoul subject to regulatory approvals.