Saudi Arabia looks set to get yet another airline after the board of Jazeera Airways (J9, Kuwait) approved setting up an airline there. In a filing with Boursa Kuwait, the airline said the proposal had been accepted at a March 12 board meeting. The stated purpose of the meeting was to discuss Jazeera Airways' expansion plans.

A report in Forbes Middle East added that the Saudi operations would be headquartered at Dammam. Last month, ch-aviation reported that a resurgent Jazeera had reported a record net profit in 2022 and was predicting a buoyant 2023. After the pandemic, the airline's financial situation had improved to such an extent that it had halved the amount of funding it needed from banks to acquire new Airbus aircraft from USD2 billion to USD1 billion.

In its stock exchange filing, Jazeera Airways cautioned that it was unsure of the financial impact of expanding into Saudi Arabia, saying that this would be known once the set-up and licencing costs were firmed up. According to the ch-aviation PRO airlines module, there are currently three scheduled passenger carriers based in Saudi Arabia - flyadeal, flynas, and Saudia. However, the kingdom has ambitious aviation plans in line with its Vision 2030 strategy. In the past week, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has said that a new long-haul carrier called Riyadh Air will be launched as soon as 2024 with an aircraft order imminent.

"Coordination is underway with the regulatory authorities in the Kingdom to complete procedures to obtain the necessary licenses in accordance with the applicable laws," the Kuwaiti LCC said in a statement.