European discounter Wizz Air will land in Saudi Arabia this December with a major expansion under the kingdom’s push to dramatically expand visitor numbers by the end of the decade.
Wizz plans to launch 20 nonstop routes to Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh from 11 European gateways, including its Budapest base, Rome and Vienna, between December and April, the airline unveiled Thursday. Its first nonstop flights, between Milan and Jeddah, begin December 3.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the most exciting countries in the world for aviation portraying an eclectic mix of travel opportunities with unmissable destinations, countless exciting attractions, and a thriving cultural scene,” Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi said. “I see the Kingdom as a long-term strategic market for Wizz Air where we will continue to innovate and carry the flag of low cost flying for the benefit of Saudi residents and visitors as well as the country’s diversifying economy.”
The expansion is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan that aims to boost visitor numbers to 100 million by the end of the decade. The kingdom plans to invest as much as $1 trillion in the initiative. Part of the plan includes offering airlines financial incentives and subsidies to add flights to Saudi Arabia.
Wizz signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabian authorities about potential air service in May.
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