Foreign airlines set to service Saudi cities
Riyadh, January 28, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation watchdog will initiate quick action to enable newly licensed foreign airlines to operate flights between Saudi cities in a move to meet the growing passenger demand, a report said.
Higher jet fuel prices were blamed by a member of the Shoura’s transport committee as one of the main reasons inhibiting foreign airlines from operating in the domestic market, added the report in Arab News.
“There is a shortage of 1.5 million seats in the domestic aviation market and this demands a quick solution,” a Shoura Council member was quoted as saying in the report.
“The number of domestic passengers in the Kingdom will cross 28.5 million by 2020 and Saudia intends to acquire a market share of 22 million,” Khaled Al-Molhem, director-general of Saudi Arabian Airlines was quoted in the report.
FlyDubai and Qatar Airways have been permitted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) to operate flights from Al-Ahsa Airport in the Eastern Province, the report said.
Khaled Al-Khaibary, a spokesman for Gaca, said FlyDubai would begin operating from the airport on February 6 with two weekly flights.