The new routes will bring the airline’s total number of international destinations to 11. Sama will fly daily to Sharm el-Sheikh, with five flights a week from Jeddah and two from Riyadh. The carrier will also operate daily flights to Amman.
The airline is keen to tap into the increased summer passenger traffic in the region but has also been forced to focus on the international market since these routes are not bound by regulations governing pricing on domestic flights. Under Saudi law, economy class seats on domestic journeys are subject to a fare cap, forcing the airline to fly at a loss on some internal routes.
Sama is pressing the government to have the fare cap removed and to receive the same cut-price fuel subsidy enjoyed by the national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia).