Saudia has announced the formation of an independent budget unit named flyadeal.
Speaking in Jeddah, Saudia’s director general, Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser, said the low-cost carrier aims to start operations in mid-2017 and will play a role in Saudia’s ‘SV2020′ business plan.
The carrier will reportedly turn to Airbus Industrie and the A320neo Family for its operational requirements.
At the moment, the privately-owned flynas is Saudi Arabia’s largest and only budget carrier and operates a fleet of 26 A320-200s on internal Saudi routes as well as routes to Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Start-up SaudiGulf Airlines, which is still undergoing certification with the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), is expected to launch budget operations some time this year with flights to cover Dammam-Jeddah and Riyadh-Dubai.
Al Maha Airways, Qatar Airways’ Saudi unit, is another entrant in the Saudi low-cost market, but it’s still unknown when it will start operations.