Connectivity Scheme Fuels Flynas’ International Growth
Flynas will launch 10 new weekly flights from King Abdulaziz International (JED) in Jeddah to four destinations in North Africa, Europe and Central Asia through Saudi Arabia’s Air Connectivity Program.
The connectivity scheme, funded by the country’s Public Investment Fund, offers airlines financial incentives to fly routes that have so far been deemed unprofitable. It forms part of the kingdom’s ambition to connect the country to 250 destinations and attract 100 million tourists per year by 2030.
From November, flynas plans to launch three flights per week to both Algeria’s capital Algiers (ALG) and Casablanca (CMN) in western Morocco. Routes to Marseille (MRS) in southern France and Almaty (ALA) in Kazakhstan will also begin, each operating twice a week.
Flynas CEO and MD Bander Almohanna said that the agreement to open the routes in partnership with the Air Connectivity Program was in line with the LCC’s growth strategy to reach 165 domestic and international destinations. The airline currently serves 16 points in Saudi Arabia and 26 international airports.
Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Marseille and Almaty are currently unserved nonstop from Saudi Arabia, although Air Company SCAT previously operated a limited service from Almaty to Jeddah and Madinah (MED), most recently from December 2021 through May 2022.
On the Jeddah-Algiers sector, Saudia and Air Algeria provided regular flights between the destinations until the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Both carriers resumed service earlier this year, but neither are operating the route at the present time. OAG data shows that Saudia plans to reinstate a 1X-weekly service in mid-September, increasing to 4X-weekly in October.
Flynas will face the most competition between Jeddah and Casablanca as Saudia offers a double-daily service and Royal Air Maroc flies twice a week.
Earlier this month, flynas launched a new route between Riyadh (RUH) and Podgorica (TDG), the capital of Montenegro. Flights will be weekly on Thursdays.
Other routes launched through the Air Connectivity Program include Saudia’s new services from Jeddah to Barcelona (BCN) and Zurich (ZRH).