Domestic tourism takes off with Nas
NAS air, the first budget carrier to fly in Saudi Arabia, revealed booking figures for operations beginning at the end of February ‘exceeded expectations’.
Over 2500 bookings were made online in the first 24 hours of the portal’s operation. In the initial start-up phase of the airline only 1000 tickets are available each day on the flights between Riyadh and Jeddah.
This is a remarkable result said Peter Griffiths, CEO of Nas Air. “We knew people were waiting for affordable fares, but the interest in booking was higher than we dared imagine.” There is clearly a very strong demand in Saudi Arabia for our services.” Seats were also available through the airline’s call centre, which was extremely busy with enquiries from all cities in the Kingdom.
Although reservations were made for travel up to September , most of the bookings focused on the SAR9 ($2.4) one-way fare, valid until March 31. Over 40,000 visitors checked the website with the majority visiting for the first time. Hits came from overseas locations as well with most from Sweden, France and Germany.
Nas expects to serve all the kingdom’s airports by increasing its fleet to 19 airplanes and expects to fly more than 10 million passengers a year by 2011.