Saudia commences Red Sea flights to Jeddah

Saudia, the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, has announced the launched of its new service from Birmingham Airport to Jeddah.

Operating three times a week, the airline now offers a convenient connection between Birmingham Airport and Jeddah, a bustling city situated on the Red Sea. Jeddah is renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and thriving commercial scene, making it a sought-after destination for both leisure and business travellers. Furthermore, Jeddah serves as a gateway to the pristine beaches and diving spots of the Red Sea.

Operated on Saudia’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Jeddah services from Birmingham are scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Manal Alshehri, VP Passenger Sales for Saudia, at BHX, said: ‘We are proud to be expanding our operations in the United Kingdom and continue to regularly offer new destinations to our guests. The United Kingdom is a very important destination for SAUDIA, and the launch of new direct flights to and from Birmingham highlights the strengthening of relations between our two countries. We’re also very grateful for the continuous support from the Air Connectivity Program, which enables us to continue to grow as we work towards our objective to bring the world to Saudi Arabia.

Nick Barton, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are so pleased to welcome Saudia to Birmingham Airport for what we hope will be a long-lasting and fruitful partnership. Among the six million people who live in our immediate catchment are many thousands who now have wonderful new options with Saudia, whether they’re travelling for business, leisure, family or religious purposes.

‘Some will go to Jeddah to sample its beautiful beaches, modern architecture and rich cultural heritage, including the historic Al-Balad district. Some will go on to Makkah and Medina for Hajj. Others will travel onwards via Saudia’s impressive global network to destinations in Asia, Africa and North America. Brits travelling from Birmingham beyond Jeddah, can also make use of the ‘stop-over visa’ – a chance to enjoy Jeddah before heading on.’

Thomas Cook announces new holidays to Egypt’s Marsa Alam from Birmingham Airport

Holiday company Thomas Cook has announced a new holiday service to Marsa Alam in Egypt from Birmingham Airport for holidaymakers from across the Midlands.

The new route to the Egyptian winter sun destination comes after the company decided to cancel its programme to Sharm El Sheikh, as the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against travel to Sharm El Sheikh Airport.

Thomas Cook and Thomas Cook Signature holidays to Marsa Alam are available from November 2017 until April 2018. The holidays will operate on a weekly direct flight on Thomas Cook Airlines with a flying time of five and a half hours.

Located on the southern most of Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, Marsa Alam is a destination for winter sun seekers and is a premier diving and snorkelling spot, including around the Elphinstone reef.

Holidaymakers can also visit the Wadi el Gamal National Park and ‘Cleopatra’s mines’, known for gold and emeralds excavation. In addition, the coastline offers white sand beaches where dugongs and giant turtles are regularly spotted. 

Chris Mottershead, Managing Director, Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, said: ‘We are thrilled to be offering customers in the Birmingham area even more choice for a winter sun getaway to Egypt’s impressive Red Sea Riviera. We know how much our customers value their precious time away together, whether it is a relaxing resort based stay, or a more active snorkelling or diving trip. Our range of quality all-inclusive holidays provides value for money for that all important hard-earned break.’

The holidays on offer include seven-nights with fares starting from £589 per person, staying on an all-inclusive basis at the four star Sentido Oriental Dream, departing from Birmingham on November 27, 2017 as well as a seven nights package with fares from £555 per person, staying on an all-inclusive basis at the four star Sunrise Marina Resort, departing from Birmingham on January 01, 2018. Holiday prices are based on two adults sharing, inclusive of flights, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation.

In addition to Marsa Alam, Thomas Cook also offers holidays to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada and the surrounding area from Birmingham.

Flight only services are also on offer with return flights starting from GBP199 per person excluding luggage and other optional extras, available to book at

Sharm el Sheikh Holidays Make a Lot Sense in 2013

Set on the Red Sea at the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, the area called Sharm el-Sheikh has some of the globe’s best scuba diving places. With its crystal clear warm water, the underwater world is spectacular. It has thousands of species of fish including colourful reef fish, sharks, barracudas, Morays as well as huge walls of coral, caves and shelves. The SS Thistlegorm is nearby and considered the best wreck dive in the world, and there are many more.

For serious divers, there are dive safaris that take people far away from the crowds to the best diving areas for a really great dive. This costs about the same price as daily diving from the resorts. There are other water sports available such as para-sailing, wind surfing and kite-surfing, boating and canoeing. With the mild, sunny climate and excellent beaches, Sharm el Sheikh is a good place to visit in 2013 for an inexpensive beach holiday or quick getaway.

There are three protected natural areas including the Nabq Protected Area with some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. It contains sand dunes, wild animals and mangrove forests. Ras Mohammed Natural Protected Park where there is excellent diving and St. Katherine National Park are the two other protected areas.

Camel Trekking

The land side of this beach resort has miles of cleanly swept sand dunes and desert. Its austere beauty can be appreciated on the back of a camel. Visitors go to Coloured Canyon and the base of Mount Sinai. Along the way travellers see hidden valleys and oases. The camels are especially bred by the owners and offer the ride of a lifetime over the desert. After watching the spectacular sunset, a barbeque dinner is prepared and entertainment in the form of music and dancing is provided by the locals. At midnight, visitors watch the night sky in awe never believing there could be so many brilliant stars.

Sharm Old Town

Visitors take a taxi or bus to the Sharm Old Town, which is called Sharm El Maya, to see the old market. There are luxury hotels in the area, but the market has not been developed for tourists, and the vendors love to see tourists coming, so they can charge their highest prices. No problem, visitors just need to haggle away and expect to pay about half of the original price. If it seems like too much, they can just walk away. The vendors will most likely call them back. The experience offers an enchanting time in another era.

Saint Catherine’s Monastery

One of the two oldest working monasteries in the world, the original building dates from the sixth century and contains the remains of the martyr Catherine of Alexandria. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and well worth a visit for anyone staying in Sharm el-Sheikh. It is believed to be the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments and there is a living bush on the grounds that is purported to be the burning bush Moses saw. The monastery’s library also has the second largest collection of manuscripts and codices in the world after the Vatican Library.


The Na’ama Bay area is fully developed for tourism and, in 2013, offers excellent casinos, discos, and nightclubs. It has a promenade that runs the whole length of the seafront and is planted with flowering bushes. Along this walkway are restaurants, shops, boutiques, bars and nightclubs that keep the party going until early morning.


Sharm el Sheikh has plenty on offer for anyone visiting in 2013 on holiday, and there are lots of excellent deals around too! After a quick search for Sharm el Sheikh holidays, I found a range of excellent deals for 5 star hotels and flights included. If you get tired of lazing by the pool or relaxing on the beach, then there’s lots of diving, camel trekking, exploring and partying on offer!