Saudia airline review: What flying business and economy are like


  • Earlier this month I got to fly business class from London to Riyadh on Saudi Arabia’s government airline, Saudia.
  • I also took a connecting internal flight with Saudia in economy class to AlUla, in the kingdom’s northern provinces. 
  • Here’s what it was like to fly in both cabins, and experience Arabian airline hospitality first hand.
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Earlier this month, I got to fly business class from London to Riyadh onboard Saudi Arabia’s government-owned, flag-carrying airline Saudia.

Shortly afterward, I had to take a connecting flight to AlUla, in the kingdom’s north, on Saudia’s economy class — meaning I got to see the full range of the airline’s options and hospitality.

Both flights were paid for as part of a press trip to visit the Winter at Tantora festival in the kingdom’s northern deserts.

While Saudia was founded in 1945 — under the name Saudi Arabian Airlines at the time — it went through a rejuvenation in 2017, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tasked the airline to compete with local rivals Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways.

While I can’t be sure how its service was before then, my experience was excellent in both classes — so much so that I don’t understand why people would splash out on business class.

Take a look at my journey:



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