LONDON GATWICK TO WELCOME FIRST LOW-COST LONG-HAUL ROUTE TO SAUDI ARABIA WITH FLYNAS
17 March 2014
London Gatwick today announces that it will be offering passengers low-cost non-stop flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second biggest city starting in April 2014.
Flynas will be flying an A330 service between London and Jeddah – with the UK being the first European nation to be served by the Saudi-based carrier. Offering both business and economy class, it will give passengers a chance to fly direct to Jeddah in under seven hours from Gatwick.
The flights will offer both business and leisure passengers the opportunity to visit a nation that is designated as a ‘High Growth Market’ by UK Trade and Investment. Saudi Arabia is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East with combined UK exports that amounted to £7.5 billion in 2012. (i)
Sulaiman Al Hamdan, Group CEO of NAS Holding, said: “The launch of flynas’ non-stop flights will add to capacity on this high traffic route. We expect to capture the air passenger segment from both countries that appreciates a high value offering, through the introduction of the new concept of Low Cost Carrier Plus (LCC+) which will allow passengers to enjoy affordable travel to international destinations while choosing from a range of services and in-flight entertainment.”
Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer at London Gatwick, said: “Flynas will be the first low-cost carrier to serve Saudi Arabia from the UK, introducing further innovation into the long-haul, low-cost, business model. We are very pleased that they have chosen Gatwick to serve London, and we are looking forward to welcoming their passengers, and providing them with market leading quality of service.
“Gatwick has spent over £1bn on new facilities in order to become London’s airport of choice for passengers and airlines from around the world. Saudi Arabia is designated as a ‘High Growth Market’ by UKTI, and we believe that this new, highly competitive service to Jeddah will therefore become an important additional business and leisure link for the UK.”
Jeddah adds to Gatwick’s growing portfolio of serving emerging and high growth markets. The airport already serves China, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam direct.
This is another example of the growing trend of low-cost long haul carriers serving both the leisure and business market. Gatwick already serves Moscow with easyJet and will be welcoming new routes to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale with Norwegian Air Shuttle in July 2014.