The 2022 edition of the Routes World forum, which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 16 to 18 October 2022, saw major interest from global airlines and aviation players in establishing new air routes and strengthening existing air travel partnerships with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi delegation included an inaugural participation by the Air Connectivity Program (ACP), which participated in over 80 meetings with airlines, airports, tourism boards, and technology partners to explore new air routes and strengthen air and tourism partnerships with the Kingdom.
Strong interest from global stakeholders points to the increased attractiveness of the Saudi aviation and tourism industries, which have seen rapid growth in recent years as the Kingdom opens its doors to the world.
ACP engaged in conversations with the global route development community, a grouping that establishes airline connectivity. Delegates from ACP also took part in IATA’s Airport Forum, where they contributed to discussions on how to transform regulatory entities into data-driven organizations.
Other stakeholders also represented at the Saudi stand include the Saudi Tourism Authority, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Matarat Holding, the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the Red Sea International Airport, and Cluster2.
The growth potential of tourism and aviation is immense in Saudi Arabia. To unlock this potential, the National Tourism Strategy and Saudi Aviation Strategy were established with set goals including extending the Kingdom’s air connectivity to over 250 destinations and expanding airport capacity to 330 million yearly passengers by 2030. As part of these efforts, in 2022 alone, ACP has worked alongside Saudia Airlines, flynas, Wizz Air, and other ecosystem stakeholders to launch 22 new air routes to and from the Kingdom.