A new route to the Middle East is to be introduced from Manchester airport this summer.

Saudia is starting a twice-weekly service to Riyadh from June 23.

The new flights will complement five flights a week to Jeddah operated by the airline, enabling passengers to fly direct to Saudi Arabia seven days a week.

The Riyadh service will depart on Mondays and Fridays using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 24 business class seats and 274 in economy.

Saudia UK manager for the UK, Fikry Altowayan, said: “We are excited with this newest addition to Saudia’s growing 83 destinations.

“We renew our commitment to our passengers by providing easy access, comfort, competitive pricing and convenient travel to the capital as well as more options in flying to further destination either via Jeddah or Riyadh.

“Manchester airport is ideally situated to serve as Saudia’s gateway to cater to our guests from the north.”

Airport commercial director, Stephen Turner, added: “It’s great to see Saudia increasing their presence at Manchester Airport.

“The new flights to Riyadh will offer business and leisure passengers alike direct access to the Saudi capital as well as fantastic onward connections and I’m sure they’ll prove hugely popular.”