Wed, Oct 11, 2023

Travel and Tourism
First guests land in The Red Sea

First guests have arrived in The Red Sea to savour the luxurious facilities of Saudi Arabia's new destination.

Red Sea Global (RSG), the multi-project developer behind the most ambitious regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and Amaala, welcomed its first guests - a delegation of Saudi ministers and visionary leaders.

They landed at the new Red Sea International Airport (RSI) on Wednesday aboard a special-edition liveried Saudia flight from Riyadh. The flight was given the prestigious number SV2030 demonstrating the significance of this moment in achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

"We always set out to lead the way, by doing things differently, and doing them in the right way for people and planet. Today, as the first of the original giga-projects to welcome guests, we are once again leading from the front," said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global.

“Getting to this moment has required great support from our partners across the Kingdom. It is an honour to be able to show our gratitude by hosting them on this exclusive visit. Now, with our airport receiving a regular schedule of flights and first resorts taking bookings, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world discovers just how special the Saudi Red Sea coast is,”

he said.

The visitors enjoyed a tour of the destination, including a stop at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort, which is now open for bookings to welcome guests before the end of the year. They were also shown the many experiences on offer for guests, including watersports, diving and in-land adventure. The visit is concluding with an overnight stay at Six Senses Southern Dunes, the first hotel to open at The Red Sea destination.

The destination’s new airport, which began receiving flights last month, will be powered by 100% renewable energy and eventually equipped to offer Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as standard for all visiting aircraft, further reducing the environmental footprint of the destination.

First seaplane company to launch in the Kingdom

RSG also celebrated the take-off of the first seaplane flight operated by its subsidiary company, Fly Red Sea. Created to transport guests across crystal-clear waters to The Red Sea’s island resorts, including St. Regis Red Sea Resort and Nujuma, A Ritz Carlton Reserve, it is the first seaplane company launched in the kingdom.

“As a pilot myself, I was deeply invested in the efforts to build Fly Red Sea. Our goal was to create a company that would allow us to maintain high standards across every guest touchpoint, that would give us the platform to explore technologies to reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, and which would prioritize giving skilled, rewarding career opportunities to the Saudi people. Fly Red Sea achieves this on every level,” Pagano added.

Fly Red Sea’s initial fleet of four Cessna Caravan 208 seaplanes are each equipped with boutique, luxury interiors. Each aircraft can accommodate a pilot and up to six guests with luggage for guest transfers to water-based resorts, and are also available for up to nine guests for scenic tours across the entire destination.

Maintaining its commitment to sustainable operations, RSG has chosen to fuel its fleet of seaplanes using SAF from day one. It is also exploring the possibility of fully electric seaplanes, and is continuing to work closely with ZeroAvia to trial retrofitting Cessna Caravan Seaplanes with hydrogen-electric propulsion technology.

RSG is similarly committed to employing national talent, with the first Saudi seaplane captain’s licence already issued to Fly Red Sea, and the first seaplane-specific engineers now hired at the destination.

Earlier this week, The Red Sea launched a new digital campaign aimed at encouraging potential visitors to change their expectations, of travel, and of Saudi Arabia. The “See Beyond” campaign video is avialable at:

Upon full completion in 2030, The Red Sea destination will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, F&B, and leisure facilities. 

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