Speaking to Arabian Aerospace magazine Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker confirmed that the airline had quietly dropped plans to launch a new domestic airline, Al Maha Airways, in Saudi Arabia. “Yes I’m disappointed we were not able to launch that airline. We hope we will have another opportunity,” Al Baker was quoted in the magazine.
Al Maha Airways gained initial approval from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia for launch in 2013, however final approval was delayed since during the interim period, SaudiGulf Airlines was launched, which is backed by the local Al Qahtani Group. Saudi also announced during that time that it was setting up a new budget carrier called Flyadeal, yet to be launched.Date: February 14, 2017