SaudiGulf Airlines has rolled out its ‘transformation plan’ which involves the starting of religious charter flights to Pakistan and Iraq.
The new chief executive of the carrier, Abdulmohsen Jonaid, has approved the business plan. He said that the Gulf airline will double its fleet by next year.
The Dammam-based airline is expected to receive brand new Airbus A320 neos in February, March, and June, the CEO said in an interview.
“We also want to acquire three A320 or A321 narrow-body aircraft and an A330 wide-body plan on the lease,” he added.
Jonaid mentioned that the wide-body unit will be used for religious charter flights to Pakistan from Jeddah. This would be SaudiGulf’s first major service to the Umrah pilgrims.
It wasn’t a big part [of our traffic base] before, but it is becoming one. It’s the nature of the business in Saudi Arabia. It’s a segment that you cannot ignore.
He said that the announcement for charter flights to Baghdad, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah was delayed due to instability in Iraq.
SaudiGulf Airlines started its operations in October 2016 after much-awaited liberalization of Saudi aviation from the monopoly of state-owned carriers.
Currently, the airline is operating in five Saudi cities and four international points, including Pakistan, UAE Jordan.
When asked about a possible launch of Europe routes, the CEO said the continent is a “legitimate target” for them, but at the moment, regional expansion is a priority.