CAIRO: Low-cost Saudi carrier Flynas announced Thursday the launch of a new route from Riyadh to Cairo, as an inaugural flight took off from Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport to Cairo International Airport Terminal 1 Wednesday.
Ayed Al Jeaid, Chairman of NAS Holding Group, Bandar Al Mohanna, CEO of NAS Holding, and Paul Byrne, CEO of Flynas, were onboard the maiden flight.
Speaking at a Thursday news conference in Cairo, Bandar Al Mohanna, CEO of NAS Holding, said: “The new route between Riyadh and Cairo is a true affirmation of Flynas’ vision to strengthen its network in Egypt and the wider region.”
Flynas, which has a fleet of 24 A320 aircraft, is operating more than 950 weekly flights on 25 routes within and outside the KSA, and said it aims to be the largest regional player connecting KSA and Egypt through the launch of daily non-stop flights.
The company currently offers an operation serving six destinations within Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria, Sohag, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh and Aswan.
Citing a huge demand, Mohanna affirmed that daily flights will add capacity to a busy sector serving the capitals of two key MENA economies.
Trade volume between Saudi Arabia and Egypt surged to $31.3 billion in the period from 2004 to 2013. Saudi Arabia was a top importer of Egyptian exports last year.
In 2014, Saudi Arabia received nearly 46 percent of outbound trips from Egypt, as some 2 million Egyptians live and work in the Kingdom, while more than 1 million Egyptians travel to Saudi Arabia annually for Hajj and Umrah, said Mohanna.
He further added that Egypt is also a popular inbound destination for Saudis for tourism and higher education.
“We expect our extensive route network across the Egyptian market to play a key role in driving our growth in the region,” said Paul Byrne,Flynas’ CEO.