Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, for which extensive redevelopment work has been planned, will host a special A380 service of the UAE’s airline Emirates for the kingdom’s national day, on 23 September.

The first flight, EK 813, will land in Riyadh at 3.50pm, and the second, EK 814, will return to Dubai at 9.40pm.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice president at Emirates’ commercial operations centre, said the Emirates A380 flights are “a fitting way” to support Saudi’s 88th National Day celebrations. 

He added: “King Khalid International Airport is also well equipped to handle the A380 and we are working closely with the civil aviation authorities to ensure the one-off operation is successful, and we thank them for their support.” 

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King Khalid International Airport is Saudi Arabia’s second-largest aviation hub. One of the developments planned for the airport is new terminal building for private jet passengers. According to ProTenders, design work was ongoing as of May 2018 for the $226m (SAR847.7m) project.

This May, local daily Arab News reported that operator Riyadh Airports had launched Phase 1 of the new duty-free store at the airport’s Terminals 1 and 2. Phase 2 of the programme was due to complete this July. 

A number of expansion and modernisation projects are in various stages of implementation at King Khalid International Airport, with some already completed. Arab News’s report stated that an advanced baggage handling system has already been installed at the facility. 

In June 2015, German construction group Hochtief said it would take the technical and commercial lead in a $1.45bn expansion project at King Khaled International Airport.

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Hochtief added that it would redesign, upgrade, and expand two existing terminals, as well as demolish and refurbish other parts of the airport infrastructure. These works would be implemented by Hochtief in a joint venture with the Middle East unit of India’s Shapoorji Pallonji, and Nahdat Al Emaar. 

The German firm said it had 55% stake in the joint venture, and that it had been awarded the contract by Saudi’s General Authority of Civil Aviation.