17-May-2011 2:17 PM

Nas Air seeks equality with Saudia

Nas Air CEO Solaiman Al-Hamdan stated he is seeking “equality with Saudi Arabian Airlines”, which he believes will allow Nas Air to better meet operating costs, particularly fuel, which represents 33% of the airline’s total operating costs (The Saudi Gazette, 16-May-2011). Mr Al-Hamdan was critical of the “increasing difficulties” faced by his airline, with the “obstacles growing, and we are only asking for fairness”, he said. Nas Air has made estimated losses of SAR800 million (USD214 million) since its 2007 launch, Mr Al-Hamdan said. He also questioned why Saudi Arabia has only two airlines, as it “is one of the biggest countries in the world terms of area” and among the Middle East’s most populous. The expansion of Nas Air into international markets, he added, was designed to try and cover losses the airline is making from domestic operations and move into sustained profitability. He attributed the 2010 collapse of LCC Sama to a lack of political support and “pressures, fuel costs, and losses”.

Nas Air: “Saudi Arabian Airlines gets special treatment, and the treatment should be the same for everyone … The problems Nas Air faces include the exorbitantly high cost of fuel compared to other Arab or Gulf countries. Saudi Arabia has the most expensive fuel, higher than in other Gulf countries by between 18 and 22%. In Sudan it’s 20% cheaper … We pay SAR600 million (USD160 million) a year on fuel, while Saudi Airlines spends SAR60 million,” Solaiman Al-Hamdan, CEO. Source: The Saudi Gazette, 16-May-2011.

Nas Air: “Saudis are tired of spending time and money traveling by land, and they want to be able to travel by air, but unfortunately there is only one airline. That’s why we are asking for the field to be opened up to other airlines and for support for them.” Solaiman Al-Hamdan, CEO. Source: The Saudi Gazette, 16-May-2011.