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File image of an aircraft in the Saudia fleet. SUR
Saudi Arabia flag carrier airline introduces 96-hour stopover sight-seeing visa for passengers from the Costa del Sol
Air travel

Saudi Arabia flag carrier airline introduces 96-hour stopover sight-seeing visa for passengers from the Costa del Sol

The airline company Saudi will operate a direct flight from Malaga Airport to the capital Riyadh from this summer

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Friday, 12 April 2024, 17:38

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If you fly from Malaga with Saudia Airlines with a stopover in Riyadh to continue your journey to your final destination, you can expect to be granted a visa so you can go sight-seeing in the Saudi capital.

The airline has launched the stopover visa which allows visitors flying on it to move around Saudi Arabia for up to 96 hours to get to know its main attractions. The carrier said its stopover visa has been activated in collaboration with the Spanish and Saudi governments, the Saudi Tourism Authority and Fynas Airlines.

The airline, which has strengthened its connection to Malaga this summer and will start operating a direct flight to Riyadh on 7 June, pointed out the visa is only available to passengers who book their flights through the Saudia website. It is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. The cost of the visa includes a processing fee of around ten dollars, and may include medical insurance, which will be calculated based on the regulations of the ministry of foreign affairs of each applicant.

Image of an air ticket with the stopover visa of the Saudi Arabian flag carrier airline.
Image of an air ticket with the stopover visa of the Saudi Arabian flag carrier airline. SUR

The airline's idea is to offer its customers the possibility of making a stopover in Saudi Arabia on a flight using the stopover visa, with which they can stay in the country for up to 96 hours on the outward or return flight, but not on both occasions. "In addition, it also allows the Umrah, the pilgrimage to Mecca, for which it is necessary to register on the Nusuk platform," the airline said.

And to help visitors make the most of their stopover, itineraries ranging from one day to 96 hours have been developed, including visits to iconic sites such as Al-Balad in Jeddah and the Unesco World Heritage site of Al-Turaif district in Diriyah. "Travellers who book with the airline will receive a free night's accommodation, which is managed during the flight and visa booking process on the airline's website," they said.

Three flights per week

This summer, the airline will operate three direct flights a week between Malaga Airport and its hub in the Saudi capital, one more flight than previously before the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline said the prospects "are very good for the future with new connections for this summer, thus increasing the schedule and its operations at Spanish airports", and pointed out "the increase in flights from domestic airports will allow Spanish tourists, in addition to travelling to Arabia, to connect with destinations whose demand during the summer season soars. We are talking about places such as Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Johannesburg, among others," the company said.

Saudia Airlines, established in 1945, is one of the largest airlines in the Middle East and operates one of the most modern fleets in the world, with a route network covering around 100 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, Europe and the United States, including Saudi Arabia's 28 domestic airports.

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