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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways marked this year’s Saudi National Day with a special Year of Zayed A380 flight between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah. 

The aircraft was deployed on flight EY311 from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah yesterday as the lead highlight in the airline’s five-day Saudi National Day celebrations.

The A380 was welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute followed by a customary display of the Saudi and UAE flags from the cockpit windows.

In a fitting tribute to the special bond between the two countries, the flight crew operating the aircraft included Captain Ahmed Almalood, Emirati, and Senior First Officer Wesam Sameer Al Najjar, the first Saudi National A380 pilot in the world.

Etihad Airways Senior First Officer Wesam Sameer Al Najjar said: “Being the youngest Saudi National to pilot the A380 is a huge honour to me and my country. I am proud to be a part of this special day and to be greeted by a water salute in my home country on National Day.”

Etihad’s five-day celebrations reinforced the company’s commitment to the Saudi Arabian market, with further collaborations with Saudi organisations to be announced in the coming months.

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