Saudi grants licenses to Qatar and Gulf Air
JEDDAH - Agence France-Presse
A Qatar Airways flight attendant poses poses for a photo. REUTERS photoThe Saudi aviation authority has awarded Qatar Airways and Bahrain’s Gulf Air licenses to operate domestic flights in the vast desert kingdom. The national carriers of the two neighboring Gulf states will be the first foreign airlines to operate domestic flights in the oil-rich nation, competing mainly with the government-owned Saudia and budget carrier NAS.
“The best bids came from Gulf Air and its partners, and Qatar Airways,” the General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement late on Dec. 28.
It said 14 companies had competed for the licenses, adding that the decision took into consideration the accumulated experience of the companies in air transport, as well as operational efficiency and financial solvency.