Monday, 1 February 2016

Interview: Samer Majali, SaudiGulf Airlines President

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Anyone who has been following the liberalisation of Saudi Arabia's aviation sector will be aware of one thing above all else: it moves at a glacial pace.

The kingdom's civil aviation authority, GACA, awarded economic licences to two start-up carriers back in December 2012, promising to inject much-needed competition in the local market. Al Qahtani Group-owned SaudiGulf Airlines and Qatar Airways-owned Al Maha Airways were selected from a shortlist of seven bidders.

There followed a woefully predictable succession of missed deadlines, with 2015 marking the third year in a row that both SaudiGulf and Al Maha have failed to get off the ground...