LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s new low cost airline has taken delivery of its first aircraft as competition among the region’s budget carriers is set to intensify.
Flyadeal, has received the first of eight Airbus A320ceo aircraft from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, according to an Airbus statement.
The new carrier is set to start operations on Sept. 23, the country’s national day – initially serving domestic markets before expanding in the region where it will come into competition with established players such flyDubai, Air Arabia and Jazeera Airways.
“Saudi Arabia has launched its Vision 2030; a strategic platform for the future development of the Kingdom where transportation and tourism are key pillars,” said flyadeal chairman Saleh Al Jasser.
“The launch of flyadeal is core to the strategy to mobilize further the country and the region.”
The regional operations of the Gulf’s big three carriers of Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, are facing increasing competition from smaller budget carriers that are improving connectivity between the biggest cities in the Middle East, East Africa, West Asia and parts of Europe.
The flyadeal fleet is configured with 186 seats in a single-class configuration.
CEO Con Korfiatis said: “Saudi Arabia and the region have a very young and digitally savvy population that has an increasing thirst for low fare travel domestically and across the region.
Airbus said the A320 is the world’s best-selling single aisle plane.
To date, Airbus has has won over 13,200 orders for the plane – more than half of them already delivered to customers.