Gulf Air 'not part of Saudi venture'
Manama, August 21, 2013
Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, today clarified that a venture it supported has been awarded a license to operate domestic services in Saudi Arabia and not the airline itself.
Gulf Air did not bid and has not been awarded domestic traffic rights to operate in Saudi Arabia, a statement said.
The Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA) recently awarded two companies licenses to operate domestic flights in the kingdom and it was reported that the licenses had been won by Gulf Air and Qatar Airways.
“The airline’s involvement is in a consultative capacity only to the Al Qahtani Group, a consortium of privately owned companies based in Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, Gulf Air’s name and brand remain independent of the venture,” said the Gulf Air statement.
An initial contract signed last year appointing Gulf Air in an advisory role to support the Al Qahtani Group’s bid for national traffic rights in Saudi Arabia, has concluded with the consortium being awarded one of the two licenses. A second consulting agreement between Gulf Air and the Al Qahtani Group is currently being negotiated whereby Gulf Air will support the Al Qahtani Group in obtaining its Saudi Arabian Air Operator’s Certificate, it said.
Gulf Air has been operating to Saudi Arabia for over 63 years, amassing extensive operational and logistical knowledge of the kingdom. As such, the national carrier is in a position to support Al Qahtani obtain the certificate and further facilitate its entrance into the market, the statement added. – TradeArabia News Service