Flyadeal’s launch puts Saudia at higher altitude

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Updated 19 April 2016
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Flyadeal’s launch puts Saudia at higher altitude

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has announced its entry into the low-cost airline market with the launch of flyadeal, which will begin operation next year.
Addressing a press conference at the King Abdulaziz International Airport on Sunday, Saleh Al-Jasser, Saudia’s director general, said the airline would serve both domestic and international sectors.
Headquartered in Jeddah, flyadeal is likely to begin domestic service in mid-2017 using one class A320 aircraft and will subsequently serve both domestic and international flights, Al-Jasser said.
Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and chairman of Saudia airlines’ board of directors, along with a number of chief executives of the strategic units of Saudia, aviation experts and journalists were among those present at the launch ceremony.
The new carrier will be an addition to the list of strategic initiatives being implemented toward the National Transformation Program, Al-Jasser added.

“The new airline aims to deliver value for money to cost-conscious customers. It will be a single-class low fare carrier, which means we are focused on getting people from A to B for a fair price,” Al-Jasser was quoted as saying on social media.
Owned by Saudi Arabian Airlines Company, flyadeal will operate independent of Saudia by having its own management and strategic plans.
Al-Jasser emphasized that as a low-cost airline, flyadeal will be committed to providing high level of service while maintaining the highest safety standards.
He added that the trademark for the new company has been registered and its operating license is under process at GACA.
He said flyadeal will be under Saudi Arabian Airlines Holding Group with complete autonomy from Saudia as a separate strategic business unit.
Al-Jasser said: “We expect to serve the main trunk routes, including the capital city of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and key regional markets.”
Mark Breen, head of transformation at Saudia Holding Company, told Arab News that the Saudia Group’s SV2020 Transformation Strategy aims to transform the Saudia Group of business units into world-class organizations by 2020.
“The launch of flyadeal as the Kingdom’s newest national air carrier will serve both domestic and international destinations with the highest quality of safety and service in a special innovative way using best industry practices with latest technology. We have a network plan and we will announce further details when flyadeal gets closer to commencement of operations next year,” he said.
Breen said initially flyadeal will serve domestic routes but will in time expand to other regional routes. Definitely we will grow our capacity for our guests within the Kingdom, providing affordable high quality services at the lowest fare.
He added that flyadeal will also serve Haj and Umrah passengers throughout the region.
Breen said tourism is developing in the Kingdom, so we will also grow to support this need to serve the traveling public.
Earlier, Saudia announced the launch of Al Bayraq, a special VIP service, which coincides with Saudia’s 2020 strategic plan that aims to take the airline to greater heights, doubling its fleet and passenger numbers during the next five years. Al Bayraq is expected to start operations soon.
Al-Jasser quoted saying earlier that Saudia plans to expand its fleet from 119 to 200 aircraft by 2020 and improve services to attract increased passenger numbers under its 2015-2020 plan.
Saudi Arabia is already home to flynas, the nine-year-old low-cost carrier, which operates domestic and international routes.


Saudi banks, Dubai shares give Gulf markets a timely boost

Updated 24 January 2019
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Saudi banks, Dubai shares give Gulf markets a timely boost

  • The Dubai index was up by 0.9 percent with Emirates NBD, its largest bank, adding 2.1 percent and its largest listed developer Emaar Properties gaining 2.2 percent
  • Nasdaq-listed DP World increased 0.7 percent after increasing its stake in its Australia unit

DUBAI: The Dubai stock market snapped a three-day losing streak on Wednesday, boosted by its financial and property shares, while Saudi Arabia rose on the back of its banks.
The Dubai index was up by 0.9 percent with Emirates NBD, its largest bank, adding 2.1 percent and its largest listed developer Emaar Properties gaining 2.2 percent. Gulf Arab economies are expected to grow at a slower pace than previously forecast, a quarterly Reuters poll of economists found, as oil output cuts, lower crude prices and weaker global growth put pressure on regional economies. Amlak Finance rose 2.2 percent after announcing a renegotiation of restructuring terms with its financiers to allow more flexibility in adapting to “current market conditions.” Nasdaq-listed DP World increased 0.7 percent after increasing its stake in its Australia unit.
The port operator will spend at least $250 million buying back some shares in its Australian port terminals unit. Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.8 percent, with nine out of 10 banks rising.
Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.6 percent and Samba Financial Group closed 1.7 percent higher. Petrochemical investor Alujain added 1.5 percent after an update on the fire at its affiliate’s plant.
The company said it now expects the NATPET plant to start operating all units by the end of September.
The Egyptian blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent with its largest listed bank Commercial International Bank gaining 4.2 percent.
The Egyptian Exchange on Wednesday canceled all transactions made the previous day in local firms Sixth of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) and Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development (MNHD).
The move followed SODIC’s decision against a takeover of MNHD and involved their shares being suspended on Wednesday as the bourse reset prices. Global Telecom Holding jumped by 10 percent before trading on its shares were suspended, pending a statement from the company after VEON Ltd, a major shareholder in the firm, said it was considering taking it private.