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Saudi Gulf Airlines to begin flights at start of November
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 05 - 2015

Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Dammam-based Saudi Gulf Airlines will start operating in the Kingdom next November, the General Authority for Civil Aviation said in a statement following a meeting between the airlines representatives and the GACA president and top officials Sunday.

Meanwhile, the procedures of the Qatari Al-Maha Airlines are still to be finalized, noted Wael Al-Sarhan, assistant of the president for corporate communication and marketing.

Answering a Saudi Gazette question about the guarantees they provide to new operators for their investments to last unlike that of Sama Airlines, he said, "things have changed and more guarantees are provided to operating companies. On top of that, the aviation market is tempting, thanks to the new airports projects and the cut of fuel prices in Saudi airports."

The president of GACA Sulaiman Al-Hamdan said that they are thrilled that the Saudi Gulf Airlines is joining the aviation traffic in the Kingdom.
This will enhance competition and will reflect positively on services provided to passengers, he added. This new airline will also contribute to the development of the aviation industry in the Kingdom, and will smooth transportation between the different regions and cities in the Kingdom, he noted.

Tariq Al-Ghahtani, Chairman of the Saudi Gulf Airlines, said the operations will start with four new A320 airplanes.

The Saudi Gulf Airlines have been granted the commercial operation license, and will start finalizing the procedures to get the final operation license Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) within the coming weeks.

Owned by the Abdel Hadi Al-Qahtani & Sons group, the airline plans to fly from Dammam to three destinations, initially with a fleet of four Airbus A320s, Samer Majali, the group's president and senior adviser, said.

"We are working with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in preparation for starting operations to obtain the technical license," Majali said.

Initial flights from Dammam will be to Jeddah, Riyadh and one international destination, with further destinations added in 2016 as the fleet expands, Majali said.

The airline's domestic flights will offer first class and economy fares, while international flights will provide business class and economy class services.

In addition to the A320 aircraft, the airline signed a $2 billion deal with Canada's Bombardier last year to purchase 16 CSeries jets with an option for a further 10.

Delivery of the CS300 jets, which seat between 130 and 160 passengers, is expected to begin late this year or early 2016.

Majali said that additional aircraft will join the fleet after the delivery of the A320s and CSeries jets.

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