Saudia Airlines to Operate 148 Planes During Hajj to Transport 1.2 Mln Pilgrims

Saudia Airlines will fly in pilgrims from across the globe. (SPA)
Saudia Airlines will fly in pilgrims from across the globe. (SPA)
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Saudia Airlines to Operate 148 Planes During Hajj to Transport 1.2 Mln Pilgrims

Saudia Airlines will fly in pilgrims from across the globe. (SPA)
Saudia Airlines will fly in pilgrims from across the globe. (SPA)

Saudia Airlines had adopted its operational plan for the 2023 Hajj pilgrimage.

Amer Alkhushail, Chief Hajj and Umrah Officer at SAUDIA Group, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the airline will operate 148 planes during the Hajj to transport 1.2 million pilgrims from across the globe.

Flyadeal, an airline owned by Saudia, will also be used for the first time to transport the pilgrims to the holy sites, he revealed. It will dedicate eight planes to the pilgrims, flying 40,000 from around the world to the Kingdom.

Flights arriving in the Kingdom will land at the Jeddah, Madinah, Al-Dammam, Riyadh, Yanbu and Taif airports. Pilgrims are flying in from 114 countries. They are also arriving through land and marine crossings.

Alkhushail said the majority of pilgrims will arrive through airports.

He revealed that Saudia has introduced 14 new flights to countries with a high Muslim population, such as Indonesia and India.

In a first, the Kingdom will also receive flights transporting Hajj and Umrah pilgrims at the same time. Alkhushail explained that this step is in line with Vision 2030 and the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The move will allow for the greatest number of pilgrims to perform the Hajj and Umrah, he added.

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Alkhushail revealed that Saudia is leasing new modern planes, accounting to nearly ten percent of its fleet, in service of the Hajj. This will ensure that already scheduled flights and additional flights will not be affected by the Hajj and also provide the necessary air travel options to international pilgrims.

Onboard the flights, Saudia offers nearly 45,000 minutes of awareness and cultural programs for the pilgrims in 14 different languages.



Deal to Transport 12,000 Yemeni Pilgrims Via 5 Airports Including Sanaa

A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)
A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Deal to Transport 12,000 Yemeni Pilgrims Via 5 Airports Including Sanaa

A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)
A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Yemen’s Ministry of Endowments and Guidance has teamed up with Yemenia Airways to fly Yemeni pilgrims from five airports, including Sanaa International airport, for this year’s Hajj season.

The agreement comes after coordination with Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Mukhtar Al-Rabash, a deputy from the ministry, highlighted the cooperation between Yemen and Saudi Arabia in facilitating flights from Aden, Seiyun, Al Rayyan, Al Ghaydah, and Sanaa to the holy sites in the Kingdom.

Al-Rabash pointed out that this step will ease the suffering of pilgrims, sparing them the hardship of long travels due to the ongoing closure of routes between provinces by Houthi militias, backed by Iran.

He expressed gratitude for Saudi cooperation in facilitating flights from Yemen’s airports, including Sanaa, to the holy sites, aiming to make the pilgrimage easier for them.

“The ministry will oversee all stages of issuing air tickets for pilgrims through specialized committees at all airports,” added Al-Rabash.

Mohsen Haidarah, Deputy Managing Director for Commercial Affairs at Yemenia Airways, stressed the importance of the cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Endowments to transport around 12,400 pilgrims via Yemenia Airways.

Haidarah emphasized the need for continued coordination to ensure smooth transportation and the best services for pilgrims.

According to the Yemeni Ministry of Endowments, this year’s Yemeni pilgrims number 24,255.

Early preparations were made through coordination with relevant Saudi authorities and the signing of several agreements to serve Yemeni pilgrims in Makkah, Madinah, and the holy sites.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Rabash described Saudi efforts for this year’s Hajj and Umrah season as “blessed and commendable,” operating in an organized and developmental manner, reflecting the insightful vision of the Kingdom’s leadership in serving the pilgrims.

A delegation from the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation visited Al-Ghaydah International Airport in Al-Mahra Governorate last week to prepare for international flights, including those for Yemeni pilgrims for this year's Hajj season.

The Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen rehabilitated and equipped the airport, with flights resuming in July 2023, enhancing transportation services in Yemen.


Saudi Commander of Joint Forces Meets with Chief of General Staff of Yemeni Armed Forces

A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)
A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Commander of Joint Forces Meets with Chief of General Staff of Yemeni Armed Forces

A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)
A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)

The Saudi Commander of the Joint Forces and Deputy Chief of the General Staff, First Lieutenant General Mutlaq bin Salem Al-Azima, met with the Chief of the General Staff of the Yemeni Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Sagheer Hammoud Aziz, in his office at the Joint Forces Command on Sunday.
The visit is part of ongoing coordination and continuous support from the coalition countries, led by the Kingdom, to achieve the desired goals and aspirations of the Yemeni people and their legitimate leadership.

It also reflects the Kingdom's role in achieving security and stability in the sisterly Republic of Yemen.


Saudi Armed Forces Participate in Eager Lion 2024 Exercise in Jordan

The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA
The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA
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Saudi Armed Forces Participate in Eager Lion 2024 Exercise in Jordan

The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA
The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA

Units from the Saudi Armed Forces continue their participation in the Eager Lion 2024 exercise held in Jordan, SPA reported.

The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries.
The field exercises involved joint targeting operations, missile air defense, and counter-terrorism operations in populated areas, in addition to hostage-liberation operations, defense and attack operations with vehicles and tanks, cyber operations, information operations, and strategic communications.
The exercise aims to exchange experiences and train on planning and implementing joint and missile defense operations, in addition to carrying out anti-terrorism and maritime security operations to confront regional threats.

It also intends to train the participating forces on border security operations and develop the capabilities of military units to confront and manage crises.


King Salman to Undergo Treatment Program at Al-Salam Palace

Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters
Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters
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King Salman to Undergo Treatment Program at Al-Salam Palace

Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters
Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, completed medical examinations on Sunday at the Royal Clinics of Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.
According to a statement by the Royal Court, it was revealed that King Salman has lung inflammation, and will undergo a treatment program consisting of antibiotics at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah until the inflammation clears.


Saudi Arabia Says Following Reports About Raisi Helicopter with ‘Great Concern’

Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
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Saudi Arabia Says Following Reports About Raisi Helicopter with ‘Great Concern’

Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Saudi Arabia expressed its support for Iran and said it was ready to provide any assistance required after a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry also said the Kingdom was following reports about the crash with "great concern,” according to the Saudi state news agency.


Saudi Foreign Minister Makes Phone Call to Pakistan’s Deputy PM and FM

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA
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Saudi Foreign Minister Makes Phone Call to Pakistan’s Deputy PM and FM

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, made a phone call on Sunday to Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ishaq Dar.

During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries, opportunities for developing them in various fields, and discussed preliminary arrangements for the visit of the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to Pakistan, which will be scheduled at a later date through agreement between the two sides.

They also discussed the dangerous developments in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, as well as the latest regional and international developments.


Saudi King to Undergo Tests at Al Salam Palace Royal Clinics in Jeddah

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
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Saudi King to Undergo Tests at Al Salam Palace Royal Clinics in Jeddah

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz will undergo medical tests on Sunday due to "high temperature and joint pain,” state news agency SPA reported.

The examinations will be conducted at the royal clinics at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah.

“The treating medical team decided to conduct some examinations to diagnose his health condition and to check on his health,” the statement said.

 


Saudi Crown Prince, US National Security Adviser Discuss Strategic Agreements Between the 2 Countries

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. SPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. SPA
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Saudi Crown Prince, US National Security Adviser Discuss Strategic Agreements Between the 2 Countries

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. SPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. SPA

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met to discuss Israel's war in Gaza and seek to complete a broad bilateral agreement, the Saudi state news agency reported on Sunday.

The meeting in the Saudi city of Dhahran included reviewing "the semi-final version of the draft strategic agreements between the two countries, which are almost being finalized," a statement read.
The Crown Prince and Sullivan also discussed the need to find a "credible track for bringing about the two-state solution" for Israel and the Palestinians, and to stop the war in Gaza and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, the statement said.


Saudi Crown Prince Meets with UAE President in al-Khobar

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan meet at the al-Aziziya Palace in al-Khobar. (Bader Al Asaker on X)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan meet at the al-Aziziya Palace in al-Khobar. (Bader Al Asaker on X)
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Saudi Crown Prince Meets with UAE President in al-Khobar

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan meet at the al-Aziziya Palace in al-Khobar. (Bader Al Asaker on X)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan meet at the al-Aziziya Palace in al-Khobar. (Bader Al Asaker on X)

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, received on Friday United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in the Eastern Region.

Bader Al Asaker, head of the private office of the Crown Prince, posted on the X platform a photo of the two leaders at the al-Aziziya Palace in al-Khobar city.


Saudi King Salman Issues Royal Order Promoting 26 Judges at Board of Grievances

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (SPA)
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Saudi King Salman Issues Royal Order Promoting 26 Judges at Board of Grievances

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued on Friday a royal order to promote 26 judges at the Board of Grievances.

President of the Board of Grievances and Administrative Judicial Council Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Yousef said the royal order underscores the keenness of the wise leadership on supporting the judiciary and developing its performance.