Hail Regional Airport will witness today the first flight operated by Nesma Airlines, after the company gained its operator certificate from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
The Director General of Northern Airports at GACA, Mr. Hamad Alkhemaish, explained that Nesma Airlines chose Hail Airport as its main hub, marking the beginning of the national project for hub airports. This project aims to facilitate travel of citizens and residents alike throughout the Kingdom and to neighboring countries and to not totally rely on international airports.
Khemaish went on to say the Nesma flights will begin tomorrow through Hail Airport on an average of two round trips a day, while other destinations will be gradually added on a weekly basis and will help to connect all of the Kingdom regional airports with Hail Hub airport.
He added that during the coming period Nesma will work on gradually increasing operating frequencies, stressing that other carriers, like Saudia, flynas, flydubai and Air Arabia, will operate flights scheduled flights through Hail airport as usual. Eventually the total number of flight at Hail Airport will reach 200 weekly flights.
Nesma Airlines CEO, Mr. Faisal Alturki, said that the airline will operate flights to Turaif, Qaisumah, Arar, Rafha, Aljouf, Tabuk, Qaseem and Madinah. Major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam will also be included in the operational schedule to be announced in November.
Regarding the airline’s fleet plans, Mr. Alturki said that, within the next three years, the fleet is expected to include six ATR 72-600 to operate flights to Northern cities, while oneA319 and one A320 will operate the services between Hail Hub Airport and the major cities. Additionally, two A321s will be deployed on the services to Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.
Alturki explained that the company has already started selling tickets through its official website and the company own outlets and travel agencies. He pointed out the Hail Airport administration handed Nesama Airlines all the necessary locations within the airport to start aircraft maintenance site, flight catering site and flight operation site.
It is worth mentioning that Hail airport is subject to an expansion study of its existing terminals in the near future, together with an extension of the aircraft parking area to keep up with the number of flights.