Heavy rainfall and violent hailstorms over Jeddah on November 24th resulted in disruption at the city’s airport and damage to at least two aircraft as they came in to land.
An Airbus A330-300 belonging to Saudia was operating flight SV452 from Khartoum (KRT) to King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) when it encountered the inclement weather. The aircraft, registration HZ-AQ25, entered a hold at high altitude prior to landing to wait for conditions to improve.
The onboard crew attempted an initial approach, but subsequently climbed back to an altitude of 19,000ft and continued to hold. On its second approach, the flight encountered severe hail and turbulence.
The flight landed safely at 11:14, approximately 45 minutes after entering the first hold, however the Airbus A330-300 had suffered significant damage as a result of the hail, as can be seen in this tweet:
Flight SV452 – Khartoum to Jeddah
Saudia flight SV452 is a scheduled service between Khartoum, Sudan, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The service is operated six times per week using a mixture of Airbus A330 and Airbus A320 aircraft. The flight is scheduled to depart Khartoum at 04:15 and arrive in Jeddah at 07:00.
On November 24th, the flight’s multiple holds can be seen on Flightradar24.com:
Saudia and the Airbus A330
HZ-AQ25 had visited Istanbul, Dubai, and Cairo in the days prior to its trip to Sudan and back. The Airbus A330-300 was delivered new to Saudia on May 25th, 2017, and is one of 32 Airbus A330-300s in the airline’s fleet. The carrier’s other widebody aircraft include the Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-9, and Boeing 787-10.
Saudia has two seating configurations on its Airbus A330-300s. HZ-AQ25 is in the higher-density regional configuration, seating a total of 330 passengers in two classes – 30 in business class and 300 in economy class.
The SkyTeam member’s lower-density Airbus A330-300s have a larger business class cabin, seating 36 passengers, and 288 in economy class.
A Libyan Airlines Airbus A320, registration 5A-LAK, is also believed to have been damaged. The aircraft was operating flight LN1256 from Benghazi (BEN) to Jeddah when it encountered the same adverse weather conditions as the Saudia flight. At the time of writing, both the Saudia and the Libyan Airlines aircraft remain on the ground in Jeddah.
According to Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology, Jeddah recorded 179mm of rain in just six hours. The resulting flash floods tragically killed two people, and left several buildings and roads badly damaged. The total amount of rainfall was the highest ever recorded, and exceeded that of November 25th, 2009, when over 120 people died in flash floods in the city.
King Abdulaziz International Airport advised that “due to weather conditions, the departure of some flights has been delayed,” and encouraged passengers to contact their airline in case of any schedule changes.
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- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Dammam Airport, Jeddah Airport, Riyadh Airport
- Year Founded:
- Ibrahim Alkoshy
- Saudi Arabia