Qatar Airways: Local takeoff in KSA delayed by ‘bureaucracy’

Qatar Airways: Local takeoff in KSA delayed by ‘bureaucracy’
Updated 09 January 2015

Qatar Airways: Local takeoff in KSA delayed by ‘bureaucracy’

Qatar Airways: Local takeoff in KSA delayed by ‘bureaucracy’

Qatar Airways plans to delay the launch of its Saudi Arabian domestic carrier, Al-Maha Airways, for between six and 18 months.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al-Baker was quoted as saying in a local newspaper on Thursday that “complicated” bureaucratic measures caused the delay.
This is not the first time the company has announced a delay. It had initially planned to begin operations in December, and then delayed it until the start of this year.
“We expect to have a six to 18 month waiting period before the operation starts,” Al-Baker said. Al-Maha would operate domestic flights in the Kingdom.
“Al-Maha routes will initially include Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Abha, and Qassim in the first stage,” he said.
Al-Baker said that Qatar Airways is not new to the Saudi market because the company operates international airlines between Doha and Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Taif, Qassim, Al-Ahsa and Madinah.
He urged Saudi, Qatari and Gulf pilots to join the company. “We already have several qualified Saudi pilots working for the company,” he said.
By the 2022 soccer World Cup being hosted by Qatar, the company expects to be one of the world’s main international airlines. It plans to expand its fleet to 200 aircraft, flying to more than 200 destinations across the globe, said Al-Baker.
Qatar Airways starting with four aircraft and now owns a modern fleet of 145, flying to more than 145 destinations across six continents. The airline won the Best Airline in the World title in 2011 and 2012.
The ranking was announced by Skytrax, a global body monitoring the quality of services in the aviation industry. Qatar Airways came second in the same competition in 2013 and 2014.
Meanwhile, Al-Baker denied reports that the company would sponsor other football clubs, apart from its current support for Al-Ahli. “Al-Ahli is one of the most important Saudi clubs. It has demonstrated the most development over the past few years,” Al-Baker said.