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Mon 13 Dec 2010 12:30 PM

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Saudi’s nasair eyes new Gulf base, sees IPO in 2012

Low-cost carrier to expand outside the kingdom with new routes, plans to IPO in 2012

Saudi’s nasair eyes new Gulf base, sees IPO in 2012
Now in its third year of operations, nasair is in the process of expanding its international routes and aims to add one new route per month
Saudi’s nasair eyes new Gulf base, sees IPO in 2012
Nasair, which operates more than 450 flights per week, moved into the black in the third quarter, said CEO Simon Stewart

Saudi
low-cost carrier nasair is mulling a new base outside Saudi Arabia in a bid to
capitalise on the expansion of its international routes, the airline’s CEO has
said.

“Indeed
we are and we are evaluating that right now,” Simon Stewart, CEO of nasair,
told Arabian Business.

Steward
declined to specify the location of the new base, the airline’s fourth, but
confirmed it would be in the Gulf.

The
carrier currently flies out of Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman.

Now
in its third year of operations, nasair is in the process of expanding its
international routes and aims to add one new route per month.

The
airline, which operates more than 450 flights per week, moved into the black in
the third quarter, Stewart said.

The
airline will be “fully profitable at the end of 2011,” he said, and is eyeing
an initial public offering within the next few years.

“IPOs
require that you have two years of profitability so we are forecasting to be
fully profitable at the end of 2011, so logically in 2012,” he said.

In
the last eleven months, the airline has launched seven new destinations in
Syria, Sudan, India and the UAE. In the first quarter, a further three – Egypt,
Turkey and Qatar – will be added.

Stewart
said the airline is “actively evaluating” routes to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran,
Pakistan and Africa.

The
airline increased its passenger numbers from 800,000 in 2008 to 2.4m in 2010.

Nasair
is a subsidiary of National Air Services (NAS Holding), which is listed on the
Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company is part owned by Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom
Holding Company.

 

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