By Courtney Trenwith
Saudi Gulf Airlines says it will operate from Dammam Airport, providing much-needed domestic services in the kingdom
A fourth Saudi airline has announced it will launch by the end of 2014, providing much-needed services for the domestic market, according to the Saudi Gazette.
Saudi Gulf Airlines will be based in the east-coast city of Dammam and plans to also eventually operate regional and international flights, pending regulatory approval.
The airline was launched by Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al Qahtani & Sons Group of Companies, a consortium of privately owned companies based in Saudi Arabia, and is being advised by Bahraini national carrier Gulf Air, which earlier this week confirmed it had not bid for a licence to operate Saudi domestic services despite contrary reports.
Qatar Airways also this week revealed it would begin Saudi domestic services, operating under the name Al Mahah Airways, with flights to begin in the first half of 2014.
The new domestic licences have been awarded to help meet growing demand for internal flights in the developing kingdom.
Saudi Arabian Airlines and flynas are presently the only carriers operating domestic services in a country of 29m.
Saudi Gulf Airlines plans to start with three to four daily flights between Dammam and Jeddah and Riyadh.
The second phase will include additional flights on those routes as well as expanding the network to Medina, Qassim, Abha and Tabuk, before eventually launching an international network covering the Near East, Middle East and Africa.
My understanding both new airlines will make Dammam KFIA as home base. This will provide much need it traffics to this forgotten airport. The other two airlines "Saudia & Nas " uses Riyadh, and Jeddah as home base.