BA returns to Saudi

British Airways will re-launch services to Saudi Arabia in June

The UK's flagship carrier is introducing five weekly flights to Riyadh and Jeddah on June 1, with return economy fares from both cities to Heathrow starting at $672.

Tickets for round trips in BA's premium economy class, World Traveller Plus, are available from $1,123, the airline added. Fares include all taxes, fees and surcharges.

In 2005, BA dropped its Saudi services as rising oil prices made the route a commercial drain. It had earlier suspended flights to the Kingdom for security reasons during uncertain times following 9/11. But an increase in Middle East residents travelling to Europe has prompted BA to reintroduce the flights. It's understood corporate law and financial firms are sending more personnel to offices in this region, further increasing demand for Saudi services.

"The Middle East is an important growth market for us and resuming flights to Saudi makes sound financial sense to the airline," said Paolo De Renzis, British Airways' area commercial manager for the Middle East. He added resuming flights to Saudi is part of BA's service expansion strategy.

The airline will operate 66 weekly flights from eight Middle Eastern destinations when Saudi flights resume - a 35 percent increase compared with last summer.

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