Shutterstock.com/credit: Christopher Parypa
Qatar Airways mulls Saudi airline launch
Riyadh, July 3, 2012
Qatar Airways, the fast-growing Gulf carrier, said it wants to launch a new airline based in Saudi Arabia and is keen to invest in the kingdom's domestic aviation sector.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker has had talks with Prince Fahad bin Abdullah Al Saud about opportunities arising from the kingdom's newly launched aviation liberalisation policy, the airline said on Tuesday.
Saudi said earlier this year it would approve new airline licences in September, ending years of speculation about whether the country would allow foreign airlines to fly domestic routes.
Baker said Saudi represented a key growth market for Qatar Airways with an underserved market and need for greater domestic air services.
Excessive fuel charges in Saudi and the government's policy of controlling domestic air fares were hindering growth opportunities for airline operators, he said.
Baker said the airline was keen to invest in the Saudi domestic aviation market, and this was dependent on a rethink by the government of certain factors.
National carrier Saudi Airlines and budget airline National Air Services (NAS) now serve a domestic market of around 27 million people, and have struggled to meet demand.
But with a price cap on domestic flights, private airlines have struggled with profit margins. In 2010, a third carrier, Sama Airlines, was forced to suspend operations.-Reuters
More Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Stories
- Turkish Airlines revenue surges 27pc in 2013
- Malaysian flight 'presumed crashed' over China
- Qatar Airways likely to buy more A380s
- Malaysia Airlines jet goes missing over China
- Etihad in move to clear flights backlog
- Tourism industry emerges from downturn
- Airbus orders more frequent A380 checks
- Dubai Mall stand offers air safety tips
- Elaf Group plans new hotel in Makkah
- UPDATE: Abu Dhabi airport starts operation
- Qatar Airways mulls options on 3 extra A380s
- RAK features 9 travel firms at ITB Berlin
- Etihad names Patrick Vieira guest ambassador
- Lufthansa to offer Premium Economy Class
- Ras Al Khaimah TDA appoints new CEO
- Abu Dhabi flights hit by 'technical failure'
- Egypt urges Germany to ease travel advisory
- Qatar Airways to get 3 A380s in June
- Paramount eyes expansion in region
- All EU citizens exempt from pre-entry UAE visas
- Sofitel to open in Downtown Dubai
- Women’s role in aviation focus for summit
- Turkish, Singapore Airlines expand codeshare
- Global air passenger traffic up 7.8pc in Jan
- Hilton to open 41-storey hotel in Pearl-Qatar
- Graffiti area at the Great Wall
- Dubai hotels welcome 11m guests
- Wyndham signs for 4th hotel in Turkey
- Mideast carriers top global air freight growth
- IFA Hotels unveils fresh brand identity