Stock flynas
The airline's curent fleet is made up of four A330 wide-body aircraft. The Saudi carrier has ambitious plans to expand its network. Image Credit: Supplied

Riyadh: Saudi-based budget carrier flynas is eyeing the acquisition of 30 widebody aircraft to expand its network and enhance competition with regional competitors, the airline said in a statement on Tuesday.

The budget carrier has put out a request for proposal (RPF) to aircraft manufacturers, according to CEO Bander Almohanna, without specifying details of the models under consideration. The airline's fleet has four A330 wide-body aircraft.

Earlier this month, flynas, an all-Airbus airline, marked a milestone with the delivery of its 50th Airbus A320neo jetliner at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. This delivery is part of a substantial order for 120 A320neo Airbus aircraft valued at over SR32 billion.

While speaking at the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers Conference in Riyadh, Almohanna said flynas is expected to announce the winning offer for the new aircraft and sign the deal this year 'to keep pace with the company’s strategic plans for growth'.

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The airline also confirmed plans for an initial public offering (IPO) later this year. It had revenues of SR6.3 billion in 2023, an increase of 32 per cent compared to 2022. This is the first time flynas has revealed the size of its annual revenues amidst confirmed reports that the company is planning an IPO during 2024.

Late last year, the Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier had hired Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Saudi Fransi Capital for its potential IPO on the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul).

'Connect the world'

flynas plans - titled 'We Connect the World to the Kingdom' – also contribute to achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to connect the country with 250 international destinations, Almohanna explained. flynas’ shift towards wide-body aircraft signals an expansion of their network, with plans to serve more Haj and Umrah passengers, which forms one of the airline’s biggest customer bases. They may also aim for further growth, including routes to Western Europe and other long-haul destinations.

flynas, launched in 2007, has achieved annual profits since 2015, except during the pandemic.

During the pandemic, the company initiated a program to revamp its strategy and business model. “The program had a positive impact on improving the efficiency of operation and spending, as the company was able to save SR375 million during the pandemic,” Almohanna said.

Operating over 70 domestic and international routes with more than 1,500 weekly flights, flynas has served over 78 million passengers since its establishment in 2007. It has plans to expand its network to 165 destinations.