Virgin Atlantic expands services with EL AL, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, and Saudia

Virgin Atlantic has announced the expansion of its codeshare partnerships with EL AL, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, and Saudia.

These collaborations signify a significant advancement in strengthening Virgin Atlantic’s global network.

In collaboration with EL AL, Israel’s national carrier, Virgin Atlantic introduces enhanced connectivity between the UK, US, and Israel, starting June 10, 2024. This will provide increased flexibility and choice with Virgin Atlantic’s code on EL AL’s London Heathrow – Tel Aviv route and reciprocal benefits, enhanced earning and redemption opportunities. Virgin Atlantic also resumes its Tel Aviv operations from September 5, 2024.

As the first and only UK member airline of the SkyTeam alliance, Virgin Atlantic welcomed SAS Scandinavian Airlines into the SkyTeam Global Alliance, promising enhanced connectivity and access to Scandinavian key hubs. This strategic partnership offers passengers an expanded range of destinations, accompanied by instant earning and redemption opportunities for Flying Club members.

Additionally, Virgin Atlantic launches a new codeshare agreement with SkyTeam member Saudia, for added connectivity between Saudi Arabia and Virgin Atlantic destinations. Effective immediately, passengers can enjoy smooth connections from the US to Jeddah and Riyadh via London Heathrow and Manchester.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this month, we know that giving our customers more choice and award-winning service in the skies is what fuels our success, alongside working with the best partners. We’re delighted to launch codeshares with our SkyTeam partners at SAS and Saudia today, enhancing our connectivity and offering greater customer benefits to our frequent flyers, who will be able to achieve rewards faster.

‘Our return to Tel Aviv on 5 September will be welcome news for customers who have enjoyed our service since 2019, and this time round it’ll be strengthened by our new codeshare partnership with EL AL.’

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.’