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Qatar Airways has announced that it plans to launch domestic carrier services in Saudi Arabia during the first half of 2014
According to Reuters, the airline’s chief executive officer, Akbal Al-Baker said the domestic carrier will be called Al Maha Airways. It is expected to operate flights initially in Riyadh and Jeddah before moving to other cities.
The announcement was made at the recent Dubai Airshow where airline operators revealed investments totalling over US$150 in new fleet. Qatar Airways has ordered 50 of Boeing's new 777 jets worth US$19bn and placed a US$2.8bn order with Airbus for five new aircraft.
Currently two carriers, Saudi Arabian Airlines and flynas, operate domestic flights in the Kingdom. Last year, Qatar Airways and Bahrain's Gulf Air obtained carrier licenses to operate within Saudi Arabia.
“There is huge potential in Saudi Arabia," said Al-Baker. He revealed that the airline is looking to expand further into new growth markets.