Saudi Arabia’s flynas to start operating as hybrid carrier by 2014

flynas2flynas plans to open two new hubs in Dammam and Madinah in Saudi Arabia. (Image source: Laurent Errera/Flickr)Saudi Arabian airline flynas has announced plans to move out of the low-cost carrier business model and start operating as a hybrid carrier by 2014 to attract more passengers in the near term

The airline recently underwent a rebranding and changed its name from ‘nasair’ to ‘flynas’.

According to Gulf News, flynas chief executive officer Raja Azmi said the operator plans to move into a hybrid carrier model by adding a business class section for all of its domestic and international flights by January next year. In 2012, flynas introduced the business class lounge for flights to Kiev, Ukraine.

Following the transition, by 2020, flynas hopes to be able to fly about 20mn passengers each year.  

Other hybrid carriers (that combine the features of a low-cost carrier with that of a full-service airline) operating in the region include flydubai and Jazeera Airways.  

flynas said it would also open two new hubs in Saudi Arabia. The Dammam hub will be used for destinations within the Kingdom, while the Madinah hub will be used for domestic and international flights, starting with Istanbul and Antakya in Turkey.

Azmi said the airline operator was looking to add new routes in the Middle East, but saw more room for growth within Saudi Arabia itself.  

Launched in 1997, flynas operates a fleet of 19 aircraft that fly to 88 destinations. Between January 2012 and September 2013, the airline has flown 5.5mn passengers. Earlier this year, flynas appointed Azmi as chief executive officer.   

flynas plans to operate from the new Al Maktoum International airport in the near term, Gulf News reported. The carrier currently operates from the Dubai International Airport, the Abu Dhabi International Airport and Sharjah International Airport in the UAE.



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