Saudi government policies delays Qatar Airways launch
12 Jan 2015
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways said that the complicated bureaucracy is responsible for delaying the launch of Qatar Airways’ domestic operations in Saudi Arabia, adding that it expects that the services will start in six to 18 months, Gulf News reported.
In 2012, Saudi Arabia announced it would liberalize its domestic air travel market, where currently only national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines and budget airline flynas serve a customer base of about 30 million people, while foreign carriers are only allowed to fly in and out of Saudi Arabia, not within the country.
Following the announcement, Qatar Airways obtained permission to run a Saudi domestic carrier, Al Maha Airways, with the carrier saying that intends to start operating in early 2014 but the plans were delayed due to issues regarding Saudi Arabia’s price caps for domestic flights and fuel subsidies for Saudi Arabian Airlines.