NAS applies for low cost carrier licence

National Air Services (NAS) is set to launch a low cost carrier in Saudi Arabia, as part of its business development strategy.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  September 1, 2006

The private aviation services company has officially submitted an application to the Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to win an operating licence for a low cost airline network in the Kingdom. Ayed Al Jeaid, chairman of the board of directors for the Saudi-owned company, believes the Middle East travel market is expanding at a rapid pace and Saudi Arabia continues to be a key player within it. “The Saudi business sector has made tangible strides in liberalisation and this has been marked by many successful initial public offerings taking place in the country. The growing privatisation movement of different businesses sectors has included the airline industry,” he said. “The Saudi government is allowing a greater role for the private sector to contribute to the overall development plan. Being the first privately-owned aviation company that has been licensed in the Saudi market, NAS has been set up to help develop the Saudi and regional aviation industry infrastructure,” he added Since inception in 1999, NAS has seen significant growth in its operations across the region. It has flown over 18,000 flights and has 33,000 hours on its fleet. The total annual flying hours have also surged to reach 11,000 hours in 2005. Its fleet has also grown from two aircraft in 1999 and the company now operates 47 aircraft, with plans to increase the number to 98 over the next five years. “Targeting different customer groups, NAS has been established as a customer-centric company providing specialised products and solutions that are designed to meet the market needs and deliver profitable return on shareholders’ equity,” said Al Jeaid. NAS has already gained the accreditation of GACA Certifications including Air Operator Certificate Parts 121 and 125, Repair Station Certification Part 145, FAA Part 129-14 and EASA Part 145. “We are meant to fill the gap in the highly competitive travel arena and meet the increasing needs of travellers on short hauls,” continued Al Jeaid. “This includes flight frequency, seat availability and convenience of travel with uncompromised quality service and safety standards. These elements represent the cornerstone of our investment and dedication to provide our customers with unrivalled levels of comfort and services to meet their needs.” Mingled with pricing convenience, NAS plans to maximise the number of routes and frequencies by introducing new routes that cater to the needs of domestic travellers. “We are gearing up to win one of the licenses and start low cost carrier operations,” concluded Al Jeaid. “To this end, we have entered into strategic alliances with world class allies to ensure genuine technology and know-how transfer.” NAS is a limited liability, fully-owned Saudi company with two operational hubs in Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

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