DALLAS — Low-cost Saudi Arabia-based flynas (XY) is expanding its network as part of its Saudi Air Connectivity Program. On December 2, the low-cost airline operated the inaugurated flight connecting Brussels with Jeddah. With the new service, XY became the first Saudi-based airline to offer nonstop flights between Saudi Arabia and Belgium.
Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) hosted a departure ceremony for the first flight to Brussels. In attendance was the Belgian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Pascal Gregoire, the guest of honor. Officials from XY, the Saudi Air Connectivity Program, and Jeddah Airport were all in attendance.
The new service also had a celebratory event at Brussels Airport (BRU). Mohammed Moanes, the Saudi Arabian Deputy Ambassador to Brussels, was in attendance, along with representatives from XY and essential figures in the travel and tourism sectors, who greeted the aircraft upon arrival.
An Airbus A320neo bearing the registration HZ-NS59 operated the inaugural flight. The aircraft was delivered to XY on May 4, 2023, and has a capacity of 174 passengers in an economy-class cabin in a 3-3 configuration. The Jeddah-Brussels nonstop will operate three times weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) and will follow the following schedule:
- JED to BRU: XY641, 03:40–08:25 (6 hours, 45-minute block time, same-day arrival)
- BRU to JED: XY642, 09:20–17:20 (6 hours block time, same-day arrival)
In a statement about the new service to Brussels, XY Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Bander Almohanna, stated, “With the addition of this new destination connecting Jeddah to the capital of Belgium, Brussels, flynas continues to strengthen its position as a globally leading low-cost airline, and expand its growing network of destinations within our strategic partnership with ACP.”
The new route marks a significant milestone in XY’s European expansion as it continues to work towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s goal of attracting 150 million tourists to Saudi Arabia by 2030, culminating in an aggressive expansion plan to have nonstop flights to over 250 international destinations by the same year.
Saudi Air Connectivity, which was inaugurated in 2021, was established to increase tourism to Saudi Arabia through increased flight capacity to targeted regions, including Europe. Ali Rajab, Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Air Connectivity Program, said in a statement:
“Europe remains a pivotal market for Saudi Arabia. Building upon the successful launch of the Marseille-Jeddah route by XY last year, the introduction of this new route to Brussels serves as a significant step forward in our ongoing commitment to bolster air connectivity with Europe. We are eager to continue facilitating improved access for European travelers to the Kingdom by collaborating with both local and international airlines.”
The airline has a fleet of 58 aircraft, comprising four Airbus A330-300s, 46 Airbus A320neos, and eight Airbus A320-200s. XY is anticipating the delivery of four additional A320neos by the end of the year. In the last two years, the XY has doubled its fleet.
XY currently serves over 70 domestic and international destinations with over 1,500 weekly flights across its route network. Since its launch in 2007, it has flown over 60 million passengers. By 2030, XY anticipates serving 165 domestic and international destinations.
Featured image: flynas HZ-NS32 Airbus A320-251N. Photo: Alberto Cucini /Airways