British Airways has today announced it will fly from Heathrow to global business hub, Dammam in Saudi Arabia from 1 December 2019 with tickets on sale now.

The route will be the only direct flight from London and launch as a daily service via Bahrain. Flights will be operated by a four-class Boeing 777-200 departing year-round from Heathrow Terminal 5, landing into Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport.

Dammam is the capital of the Eastern Province and is known as the heart of the country’s petroleum industry. Dammam will be the third city in Saudi Arabia British Airways flies to with the airline already serving Riyadh and Jeddah with non-stop daily flights.

Moran Birger, Head of Sales for The Middle East and Asia Pacific, said: “Our customers are currently offered a limo service between Bahrain and Dammam, but the direct service will now enable seamless travel in eight hours from our home at Heathrow. More than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas is produced in this region, so this new link underlines the importance of the Eastern province of the Kingdom and the need for smooth onward connections to Europe and the United States.”

Dammam is one of five longhaul routes being launched by British Airways in 2019, its centenary year. The airline is also launching non-stop flights to Pittsburgh and Charleston in the US, Osaka in Japan and Islamabad in Pakistan alongside several shorthaul routes.

As British Airways marks its centenary year, the airline is set to look to the future with the arrival in July of its first of 18 A350-1000s, complete with the new Club Suite. Forming a significant part of the airline’s current five year £6.5bn investment programme for customers, the airline will receive four A350-1000s in 2019 and will begin a phased refit of its existing longhaul fleet with the next generation Club World. Two current Boeing 777s will also receive the Club Suite this year and the airline will be taking a phased approach to its roll-out.