Flydubai Adds Unserved Saudi Routes

Credit: Trevisan Aviation Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Dubai-based LCC flydubai is further growing its network in Saudi Arabia with the addition of two new destinations and the resumption of two more.

The airline, which already serves 12 points in the kingdom, plans to connect Dubai (DXB) with Neom (NUM) and Qaisumah (AQI) from March 16 and March 21 respectively. Both destinations are new for flydubai and will each be served twice a week using Boeing 737-800s.

Neom is a proposed $500 billion megacity in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, while Qaisumah is located near the city of Hafar al-Batin in Eastern Province.

Flydubai will face competition in the Dubai-Neom market from Saudia, which launched the 2,013-km (1,087-nm) route last August and currently provides one flight per week. The sector between Dubai and Qaisumah is unserved and flydubai will become the sole operator of flights to the Saudi destination from the UAE.

In addition, flydubai intends to commence a 3X-weekly service to Najran (EAM) from March 18 and a 4X-weekly route to Jazan (GIZ) from April 26. Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that the LCC last served Dubai-Najran in May 2015 and Dubai-Jazan in November 2020. Both routes are currently unserved.

“Flydubai remains committed to opening up underserved markets and so we are pleased to offer our customers more options for travel with the launch of these four destinations,” CCO Hamad Obaidalla said.

“As Saudi Arabia continues on its path of economic growth and investment in developing its tourism sector, we look forward to offering passengers from the UAE and around our network the opportunity to explore more of the country.”

Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil and has set a target of attracting 100 million tourists annually by 2030. It also wants to increase the number of destinations with direct flights from the country to more than 250, up from about 120 at the present time.

Earlier this month, national carrier Saudia outlined plans to start four new routes, offering flights to: Beijing; Birmingham, England; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Kano, Nigeria. The proposed services will be supported by the Saudi Air Connectivity Program, financed by the state-owned Public Investment Fund.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.