DALLAS – Just days after the Saudi government announced plans to create a new airline, Riyadh Air, Kuwaiti airline Jazeera Airways (J9) has announced that it too will be setting up a new low-cost operator in the country.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the airline said the new entity would be based at Dammam’s King Fahad Airport (DMM) and be established alongside partners in the Kingdom.
“Co-ordination is under way with the regulatory authorities in the kingdom to complete procedures to obtain the necessary licences in accordance with the applicable laws,” Jazeera Airways said.
Further details such as brand, fleet and network plans are yet to be released. However, as J9 already operates a fleet of Airbus A320 family airliners, the new business may follow suit.
The boost in airlines in the country forms part of Saudia Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ economic transformation programme, which aims to expand the tourism and aviation sector.
To do this, over US$100bn has been invested by the government and private sector. The strategy calls for passenger traffic to be tripled to 330 million and for the number of destinations served from Saudi Arabia to go from 99 to 250.
A new airport is also planned in Riyadh. This will have six parallel runways and be capable of handling up to 120 million passengers by 2030.
Jazeera Airways launched operations in October 2005 after the Kuwait government allowed the creation of the first private airline in the Middle East. Today, J9 flies to over 50 destinations across the Middle East, Europe and Central and South Asia. All flights operate from Jazeera’s own dedicated terminal at Kuwait International Airport (KWI), which opened in 2018.
Featured Image: Jazeera Airways Airbus A320 (9K-CAJ). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.