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Last updated 22 September 2020

After six long months, Saudi Arabia has decided to grant entry to specific groups of international travelers. This is a welcome change for working professionals who had been unable to freely cross the borders since the Gulf Cooperation Council member country had shut down all incoming international flights from March 15, excluding a few emergency cases of exception.

This partial lift of the embargo on its land, sea, and air borders has begun on September 15. The country is also eyeing to lift all travel bans on entry and exit from January 1, 2021. Following the announcement, there’s an uptick of interest in flying to and from the country on its national carrier, Saudi Airlines.

Read along to know more about Saudi Airlines booking and entry eligibility to Saudi Arabia.

Entry approval of non-Saudis into the Kingdom

Whether you are a Gulf citizen or a non-Saudi, you can now enter Saudi Arabia if you hold a valid residency permit or visas. Allowed visas include exit and re-entry, work permit, visit, or Iqama/residency. The only catch, you shouldn’t be a carrier of the virus. Lest you wouldn’t be allowed to enter the country, as mandated by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

The entry approval after the permanent lifting of bans in January has also been sanctioned by the Royal decree, as confirmed by the Ministry of Interior.

Who can fly from September 15?

You are eligible to fly on Saudi Airlines and travel and enter or exit Saudi Arabia if you belong to any of the following allowed/exceptional categories:

  • Civilian and military governmental employees who need to travel for assigned official tasks.
  • Personnel at the Saudi diplomatic and consular missions, their family and dependents
  • Attachés abroad and personnel at the regional and international organizations, their families, and companions.
  • Permanent jobholders, in public, private or non-profit facilities, outside the Kingdom
  • People with job tasks in companies or commercial institutions outside the Kingdom.
  • Businesspersons who need to travel for business and conclude commercial and/or industrial activities
  • Export, marketing, and sales directors for whom visiting clients becomes essential
  • Medical tourists whose treatment obligates the travel outside the Kingdom, such as cancer cases and patients in need of organ transplantation. Entry will be granted after verifying medical condition from all the reports.
  • Students and trainees on medical fellowship programs who wish to travel back to the country of their study as well as their dependents
  • Saudi Arabia expatriates and their dependents on showing proof of their residences outside the country
  • People engaged in sports, both regional and international. Also includes technicians and administrative staff apart from the participants.
  • Any citizen who wishes to be reunited with their relatives living in a country outside the Kingdom (humanitarian cause)
  • The death of a close relative or family member residing outside Saudi Arabia (humane cause)

However, if it is a country outside Saudi Arabia that you’d like to travel to, if the destination country has travel restrictions from Saudi Arabia, you won’t be able to get on a flight. Note that GCC nationals are currently not required to carry an ID for entry into the Kingdom.

Travel Guidelines by Saudi Airlines

While you prepare to fly with Saudi Airlines to KSA, you must not miss out on the health advisory of the country as delineated by Saudi Arabia airlines on their website.

  • Apart from Saudi citizens, all arriving passengers must carry a mandatory negative RT-PCR test report, taken no earlier than 48 hours before you land in Saudi Arabia. In case you forget the certificate, you won’t be allowed to board your flight.
  • Fill out the Health Disclaimer form, which you need to submit to the airport officials on arrival.
  • Home quarantine is mandatory for at least 2 days, after which if you test negative for the RT-PCR test, you can move out of isolation. If no test is conducted, the quarantine period gets extended up to 7 days.
  • You must download the Tatamman and Tawakkalna Applications and register to upload your home location and update health assessment information. You may call 937 if any symptoms surface during the quarantine period or go to your nearby healthcare center.

Additionally, Saudi Airlines has rolled out updated travel guidelines for all passengers leaving Saudi Arabia for any of the following 25 countries: the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, China, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Bangladesh, Philippines, Malaysia, South Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Indonesia.

Saudi Airlines flight schedule

In the wake of the changed guidelines, airport cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam have increased air traffic as more flights operate to and from cities across the world. Find below some of the current schedules for Saudi Airlines. Note that the prices mentioned are accurate at the time of writing and the schedules are for the months of September and October.

Saudi Arabia – Dubai Flights

Jeddah (JED) to Dubai (DXB)
Available everyday
Prices starting from USD 270
Dubai (DXB) to Jeddah (JED)
Available at least two to four flights regularly
Prices starting from USD 305

Dubai (DXB) to Riyadh (RUH):
Available a few times a week up, at least up to September 29
Prices starting from USD 309
Riyadh (RUH) to Dubai (DXB)
Available almost everyday up to September 30
Prices starting from USD 248

Saudi Arabia – Islamabad Flights

Riyadh (RUH) to Islamabad (ISB):
Available on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
Prices starting from USD 499
Islamabad (ISB) to Riyadh (RUH)
Available in the first week of October
Prices starting from USD 385

Jeddah (JED) to Islamabad (ISB)
Available thrice a week
Prices starting from SAR 1624
Islamabad (ISB) to Jeddah (JED)

Available starting from October 6
Prices starting from USD 306

Saudi Arabia – Cairo flights

Jeddah (JED) to Cairo (CAI)
Available almost everyday
Prices starting from USD 254
Cairo (CAI) to Jeddah (JED)
Available almost everyday, starting September 24
Prices starting from USD 365

Riyadh (RUH) to Cairo (CAI)
Available everyday
Prices starting from USD 204
Cairo (CAI) to Riyadh (RUH)
Available everyday
Prices starting from USD 264

Saudi Arabia – Jakarta flights

Riyadh (RUH) to Jakarta (CGK)
Available from September 29, every Tuesday and Friday and occasional Sundays
Prices starting from USD 837
Jakarta (CGK) to Riyadh (RUH)
Available from September 30, available on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday
Prices starting from USD 903

Jeddah (JED) to Jakarta (CGK)
Available from September 29 on select days
Prices starting from: USD 837
Jakarta (CGK) to Jeddah (JED)
Available from September 30 on select days
Prices starting from USD 814

Saudi Arabia – Istanbul flights

Riyadh (RUH) to Istanbul (IST)
Available certain days in the week
Prices starting from USD 405
Istanbul (IST) to Riyadh (RUH)
Available certain days in the week
Prices starting from USD 628

Jeddah (JED) to Istanbul (IST):
Available certain days in the week
Prices starting from USD 507
Istanbul (IST) to Jeddah (JED)
Available certain days in the week
Prices starting from USD 690

Upcoming flight routes

In addition to the above press releases, Saudi Arabia will also allow specific Indian expats to fly back to Saudi Arabia. Those who worked in Saudi Arabia and had been stuck in India since the pandemic induced lockdown and air travel restrictions can avail select flights on request of their employers.

This is, however, only applicable to the company’s most essential employees, such as doctors and nurses, whose job is in the emergency. Others may have to wait till November to get back to the Kingdom. Meanwhile, repatriation flights from Saudi Arabia to India continue to operate through Vande Bharat Mission flights and international charter flights.

Besides, Saudia is also set to restart flights from Dhaka, Bangladesh from September 23.