- Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier flynas has joined the UNWTO following its recent efforts to promote sustainable tourism in the middle east.
- The carrier previously collaborated with the UN’s Global Compact agency in August amid Saudi Arabia’s closer ties with the UNWTO.
- Over the past several months, flynas has expanded its fleet and network, adding a range of connections from the Middle East into Europe and Africa.
Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier flynas has confirmed it has joined the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as part of its efforts to support the development of a sustainable and affordable tourism industry.
Latest sustainability initiatives
Over the past few months, the airline has forged closer ties with the United Nations’ environmental and tourism agencies, including becoming the first Middle Eastern low-cost carrier to join forces with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in August. The latest update sees flynas align with the UNWTO as an affiliate member, a first for Saudi Arabia.
According to the carrier, its participation in the program will see it collaborate with over 500 other companies to bolster sustainable tourism efforts throughout the Middle East and beyond. The agency opened its first Middle East regional official in Riyadh in 2021, with the close proximity allowing flynas to strengthen its cooperation with the UNWTO. Saudi Arabia is set to host the 26th UNWTO General Assembly in 2025 following its recent re-election as council president for 2024.
In a statement shared by the airline on Sunday, CEO and Managing Director Bander Almohanna noted flynas’ continued commitments to building a green aviation industry in line with Saudi Arabia’s own carbon neutrality goals. Almohanna added,
“flynas joining the organization as the first Saudi airline and the first Low-Cost carrier in the Middle East will reinforce its position as the 4th best Low-Cost airline in the world, pointing out that the membership goals comes in line with flynas’ sustainability plan, which focuses on adopting initiatives with a sustainable impact on the environment, society, and the economy.”
Cheaper n’ greener
Other recent ventures have seen the airline commit to an expansive and young fleet of Airbus A320neo family aircraft, phasing out its older jets in favor of Airbus’ more efficient next-generation alternatives. As of November 2023, flynas operates 45 A320neo aircraft amid the gradual retirement of its A320-200 fleet, with just four A320-200s remaining. Earlier this month, flynas added five more A320neo on lease from Avolon, with even more on the way over the next several years.
The airline is set to take on a total of 107 A320neo family aircraft, including 10 A321XLR aircraft, as part of its plan to bolster air traffic into Saudi Arabia by the end of the decade.
Through October and November, flynas continued bolstering its schedule, adding a range of connections from its bases at Riyadh King Khaled International Airport (RUH), Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), and Dammam King Fahd Airport (DMM) to destinations across Europe and the Middle East. New additions include the anticipated Riyadh to Bahrain International Airport (BAH), Jeddah to Brussels Airport (BRU), and Jeddah to Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB).
Before the end of the year, flynas is set to expand its presence at Madinah’s Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport (MED), opening a fourth airline base. From the city, flynas will launch several new domestic and international connections, notably Dubai International Airport (DBX), Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), and Baghdad International Airport (BGW), on top of increasing frequencies on existing connections.
Last year the company signed a sale and leaseback transaction with three leasing companies.
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