Saudi Gulf Airlines to get operating permit within 2 months: Al-Magali
Saudi Gulf Airlines, a newly formed carrier, is expected to obtain its operating license from the Saudi aviation authorities within two months, after which it will start commercial flights, the company’s president, Samer al-Magali, told Al-Arabiya TV.
The carrier is currently operating test flights with no passengers, as part of the kingdom’s safety regulations requirements, he said.
Al-Magali added that the airlines will start off with four Airbus 320 flights from Dammam to Jeddah, Riyadh and Dubai, before adding more aircraft and other regional and domestic destinations in 2017.
Only the national carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and budget operator National Air Services currently serve Saudi Arabia’s domestic market of about 27 million people. Foreign carriers can only fly in and out of the kingdom and not within the country.
The Dammam-based Saudi Gulf Airlines is owned by the Abdul Hadi Al Qahtani & Sons group.
The Saudi authorities began accepting applications to operate internal flights back in 2012. Qatar Airways, through its subsidiary Al Maha Airways, was one such applicant but red tape has delayed its launch.