Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways has confirmed plans to establish an airline in Saudi Arabia, where another new airline, Riyadh Air, was also recently unveiled.
The Kuwaiti low-cost carrier made the announcement on March 12, 2023, following a board of directors meeting. The airline’s board “approved the establishment of a company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to operate in air transportation,” Jazeera Airways noted in a disclosure to investors. “The financial impact will be determined once the establishment and operating licensing procedures [are] finalized,” the filing continued.
Jazeera Airways’ Saudi Arabian subsidiary will be based at King Fahd International Airport (DMM) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. It was not immediately clear how many aircraft or the number of destinations the new carrier will operate.
Jazeera Airways was established in 2004 and currently has 20 aircraft in its fleet, flying to 60 destinations from its base at Kuwait International Airport (KWI). Per Airbus Orders & Deliveries data, the airline has 26 Airbus A320neo family aircraft (18 A320neo and eight A321neo) aircraft on order, with two having already been delivered. Jazeera Airways confirmed the order in February 2022, affirming the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2021.
On March 12, 2023, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced the establishment of Riyadh Air, a new airline based in Riyadh Air. Headed by ex-Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tony Douglas, the new carrier aims to fly to more than 100 destinations by 2030. Two days later, Riyadh Air and SAUDIA, another government-owned carrier in the country, announced simultaneous orders for Boeing 787 aircraft, totaling 121 units. Out of those, 72 will go to Riyadh Air.