Featured Image: Nick Sheeder/Airways

Saudia Reports Strong Q1 Passenger Growth

DALLAS — Saudia (SV) kicked off 2024 with a strong performance in the first quarter. The carrier reported a significant increase in passenger traffic across both domestic and international routes, alongside impressive operational efficiency.

Overall, SV handled over 8.3 million passengers in Q1 2024, reflecting a healthy 19% year-on-year growth. This positive trend is attributed to the carrier's strategic expansion, with scheduled and additional flights increasing by 11% to reach 46.8 thousand.

In the first quarter, flight hours also climbed by 13% to 144.7 thousand, demonstrating a busier schedule for the Saudi Arabian flag carrier.  Furthermore, the airline maintained a notable overall on-time performance (OTP) of 89.3%, highlighting its commitment to punctuality.

Saudia Boeing 777-300(ER). Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

International Travel Sees Significant Boost

The most impressive growth, however, came in the international sector. SV witnessed a remarkable 25% surge in international guests, exceeding 4.7 million. This significant rise can be attributed to a 13% increase in international flights (totaling 20.9 thousand flights) and a 15% rise in international flight hours (reaching 100.7 thousand hours).  

Pleasingly, international flight OTP remained high at 86.5%, showcasing SV's focus on maintaining reliable international travel options.

Domestic operations also saw steady growth. Domestic passengers increased by 11% to reach 3.6 million, while domestic flight activity rose by 9% to 25.9 thousand flights.  Domestic flight hours mirrored this growth with a 9% increase to 44 thousand flight hours.  In addition, domestic OTP also remained strong at 91.5% in Q1, 2024.

Saudia Airbus A321neo. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Looking Ahead: Continued Expansion, Focus on Hajj

Looking ahead, the Jeddah-based carrier is dedicated to continuous improvement, particularly as they gear up for the upcoming Hajj season and the busy summer period.  

His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, emphasized the significance of these results, stating that "the increase in flights and exceptional operational efficiency are cornerstones for the new era of Saudia."  He further highlighted Saudia's strategy "to bring the world to the Kingdom," as evidenced by the 25% increase in international guests.

With an extensive network exceeding 100 destinations across four continents and a growing fleet of 143 aircraft, SV is set to continue playing a key role in supporting the Kingdom's tourism, business travel, and religious pilgrimage sectors.

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