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Wed 2 Sep 2009 06:27 AM

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Wataniya delays launch of Saudi daily flights

Kuwait airline also says it is adding flights to Dubai, Bahrain and Damascus.

Kuwait's Wataniya Airways has delayed launching daily flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia until the end of October, company chiefs have announced

The new schedule is aimed at servicing the anticipated high demand for seats to Jeddah as the hajj season starts at the end of November, Wataniya said in a statement.

More flights are also being added to Dubai, Bahrain, and Damascus and better timings for flights to Sharm El Sheikh.

The improvements will be made possible by the arrival of the airline's fourth aircraft which is due to arrive in late October.

Abdulsalam Al Bahar, chairman and MD of Wataniya Airways, said: "Additional time was required to negotiate slots and obtain our final operating permit for Jeddah. The Saudi authorities have demonstrated huge cooperation to help expedite the process, but this is a complex procedure which took a bit longer than initially anticipated."

Al Bahar added: "Against this and taking into consideration the current market conditions, we have decided to postpone Jeddah until the end of October and to concentrate on providing a winter schedule that is more convenient to our guests and better suits their needs."

The airline currently operates scheduled flights to Dubai, Bahrain, Cairo, Damascus, Amman, Beirut, and Sharm El Sheikh, with Jeddah being its eighth destination when it starts in October.

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