Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, or GACA, has awarded new airline licences to Qatar Airways and Gulf Air which will allow both carriers to operate domestic and international flights inside the kingdom, the official Saudi Press Agency, or SPA, said on its website.
Both carriers were picked from six finalists in October, according to the statement, which didn’t name the four other candidates.
The new licences are part of the kingdom’s attempt to shore up its under-developed transport sector to meet growing demand.
The licenced companies will have priority in operating international flights in accordance with existing bilateral agreements with various countries.
Saudi Arabia currently has two main domestic airlines, Saudia and low-cost carrier National Air Services, which serve a fast-growing domestic market as the world’s largest oil exporter spends billions of dollars at home to boost economic activity.