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JEDDAH: Thailand is preparing for more tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia following the launch of direct flights to the southeast Asian country, with three a week from Jeddah and Riyadh.
The first flight took off on Monday from Jeddah, almost three decades after all direct flights to Thailand were suspended due to downgraded diplomatic ties between the two nations.
The launch of the new flights was celebrated during a special ceremony — attended by Thai Consul General in Jeddah Soradjak Puranasamriddhi — in carrier Saudia’s international lounge (Alfursan) at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
The move came after Riyadh and Bangkok turned a new page in their relationship with a restoration of full diplomatic ties and a planned exchange of ambassadors following Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s official state visit to the Saudi capital last month.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Essam Akhobany, vice president of marketing and product management at Saudia, welcomed the new route.
He said: “We at Saudia are proud to open a new chapter in the recently strengthened bilateral relations between the kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Thailand. The launch of this new route builds on our already strong operational footprint in Asia and will provide greater connectivity and convenience for guests.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership of both nations for enabling Saudia to become a bridge between our great kingdoms. We look forward to welcoming guests from Thailand to Saudi Arabia as we continue to serve as the wings of Vision 2030,” he added.
Saudia recently announced the launch of 10 new destinations with direct flights, namely Bangkok, Chicago, Barcelona, Malaga, Marrakesh, Moscow, Beijing, Seoul, Amsterdam, and Entebbe.
The launch event included an exchange of gifts between both countries and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the gate of the Bangkok flight.
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