Saudia (SV, Jeddah) is reportedly preparing for a full-capacity operation ahead of Saudi Arabia lifting its international travel ban on May 17, 2021, which will coincide with the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan.

The airline’s board of directors, at a meeting chaired by Saudi Transport Minister Saleh Al-Jasser, reportedly discussed preparations for the return of international flights in May. During the meeting, the Minister had confirmed that all international borders, including air, land, and sea, would reopen on that day, local media reported.

The Kingdom earlier postponed the re-opening of international borders from March 31 to May 17, 2021, to prevent the spread of new COVID-19 variants.

Al-Jasser had expressed his gratitude for the efforts made by the airline to continue domestic flights safely, thereby limiting the spread of COVID-19. Domestic flights in Saudia Arabia resumed on May 31, 2020.

The Board at the meeting reportedly discussed “many issues related to the organisation’s strategy, performance reports, and programmes for developing and improving” the airline.

Meanwhile, travel agents in the Kingdom expected fares to jump by 300% reflecting pent-up demand for travel, reported El Watan News. They predicted that travel-starved Saudis would head to isolated islands and cities in Egypt, Morocco, and Greece first, while demand for travel to Europe was also heating up.

None of the Saudi airlines has yet made an official announcement. According to the ch-aviation schedules module, flynas (XY, Riyadh) would normally fly to Amman Queen Alia, Beirut, Cairo Int'l, Khartoum, Lahore Int'l, Dubai Int'l, Islamabad Quaid-e-Azam Int'l, and Karachi Int'l.

International destinations normally served by Saudia include Alexandria Borg el Arab and Cairo, Abu Dhabi Int'l, Addis Ababa, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta, Amsterdam Schiphol, Casablanca Int'l, Amman, and Beirut.