The agreement was signed by Cathay Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau and Saudi Air Connectivity Vice President Rashed Alshammari. Image Credit: Supplied

Cathay Pacific will launch direct passenger flights to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from October 28, 2024, enhancing connectivity, trade, and cultural exchange with countries in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung said: "The signing of the cooperation agreement marks a significant milestone for the already prospering aviation partnership between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia developed for almost two decades."

Consul General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Hong Kong, Hamad Aljebreen, said: "The inauguration of this route is a pivotal step in the path of improving relations, building bridges of communication and cooperation, and strengthening economic, tourism and cultural ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong."

Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam said: "We are excited to announce the launch of flights connecting Hong Kong and Riyadh this October, which will further strengthen our network in the Middle East and enhance Hong Kong's connectivity with this important region. This new service will offer more travel options and greater convenience for our customers travelling to and from Saudi Arabia, as well as promote opportunities for business, trade and tourism."

Saudi Air Connectivity Program Chief Executive Officer Majid Khan said: “With direct flights between Hong Kong and Riyadh with Cathay Pacific, air connectivity to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will further strengthen from our key source markets to grow inbound tourism. Travellers from Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific's network, including China, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and other APAC countries will explore Saudi Arabia's vast tourism potential. We welcome Cathay Pacific, one of the premium carriers, to Saudi Arabia and look forward to mutually developing the potential in years to come."

Cathay Pacific will operate three return flights per week between Hong Kong and Riyadh using its modern Airbus A350-900 aircraft, featuring Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. The flight schedule for the service is as follows (all times local, subject to regulatory approval):