SAUDIA strengthens its role as an East / West connector with free stopover visa


Saudi Arabia’s national airline, SAUDIA, has announced that it will be offering a free four day stopover visa for all passengers.  The “Your Ticket, Your Visa” service will see SAUDIA passengers being issued with a 96 hour transit visa within three minutes of purchasing their ticket.

The stopover service is the latest milestone reached by SAUDIA in its on-going programme to enhance service levels, attract visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and position its Jeddah hub as a key East / West gateway.

In October 2022, at the APEX/IFSA Awards, SAUDIA was recognized as a ‘World Class’ airline by APEX for the second year running, as well as achieving a five star rating.  

This comes as the airline has been working towards Saudi Arabia’s goal of achieving 100 million visitors per year by 2030.  The country is well on track to realizing that, with 67 million having visited last year.  

Many visitors taking advantage of the ‘Your Ticket, Your Visa’ service, will be flying through SAUDIA’s main hub at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED).  

SAUDIA flies to North American destinations, including Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York (JFK) from JED. It also has an extensive Asia-Pacific route network that includes Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul.  

As a result, the 96 hour stopover visa enhances SAUDIA’s role as a connector between East and West. 

Someone flying from the United States to (e.g.) Malaysia, can now break up their journey in Saudi Arabia for a few days to see what this increasingly popular tourist destination has to offer.  

As well as JED, the 96 hour visa is however valid for any international SAUDIA gateway.  

That now includes NEOM Bay, the new airport designed to serve NEOM, the new destination and smart city being planned in the North West of the Country.

NEOM Bay already has SAUDIA flights to London Heathrow and Dubai, and as it’s within six hours flying distance of 40% of the world, there’s scope for it to become a key East / West hub when it’s fully open.

As well as SAUDIA, other airlines in the GCC region have a stopover service or programme, including both Qatar Airways, and Emirates.

Last Summer, Etihad Airways additionally relaunched its Etihad’s Stopover programme, which among other things, offers discounts of up to 40% on Abu Dhabi four and five star hotels.