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Amid IPO talks, Saudi budget airline Flynas adds two A320neo jets

IFM_Flynas
Flynas offers over 1,500 weekly flights to over 70 domestic and international destinations

Travellers visiting Saudi Arabia will have more travel options because Flynas, the airline based in the Kingdom, has increased its capacity by 25%.

The company said in a statement that this occurred concurrently with the conclusion of its acquisition of two Airbus A320neo aircraft, demonstrating enhanced operating capabilities.

This will make more than 1.2 million seats available for domestic and international travel during Ramadan.

The airline increased the number of aircraft in its fleet to 63 in December 2023 by purchasing three A320neos earlier. Flynas received eighteen of the same model jets in 2023 alone.

With these deliveries, the all-Airbus fleet of the Saudi low-cost carrier has grown by more than twice, or more than 100%, in less than two years. The airline has increased the number of A320neo aircraft it can operate by almost 73%, to 46 aircraft.

Four A330 wide-body aircraft are also part of the airline’s fleet, which increases its ability to serve pilgrims during the holy months.

As part of a plan to expand new aircraft orders to 250, these acquisitions are part of an order for 120 aircraft from Airbus, worth approximately SR32 billion (USD 8.5 billion).

Flynas said in a release that this programme aligns with the “National Civil Aviation Strategy” and that its goal is to bring the total number of international destinations connected to the Kingdom up to 250.

By 2030, the plan aims to achieve 330 million passengers and draw 100 million visitors.

Flynas offers over 1,500 weekly flights to over 70 domestic and international destinations. In keeping with the goals of “Saudi Vision 2030,” the airline wants to reach 165 destinations.

The airline recently took part in one of the biggest travel trade fairs in the world, ITB Berlin 2024.

Flynas revealed plans to launch additional flights between Jeddah and Berlin during the event. The flights would run between the two cities three times a week starting on September 4.

According to a press statement at the time, this is in line with the company’s objectives for “further network expansion in Europe.”

Meanwhile, Flynas has hired financial consultants for a possible initial public offering (IPO) on the Saudi Exchange, slated for 2024. The airline has engaged Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, and Saudi Fransi Capital to work on the listing.

Flynas is partly owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which holds a 17% stake in the carrier, now reportedly looking to increase its shareholding.

The airline, formerly known as Nasair, has been considering going public since 2008, with the process advancing in 2016. It hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the share sale in late 2017 and then recruited Citigroup and NCB Capital for the planned offering in early 2018.

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