Bidders now have until 14 January to submit their proposals.

Among the 11 parties interested in the trade sale are international buyers and private equity firms.

A shortlist of bidders will be drawn up to go through to the second round after the 14 January deadline.

The sale is part of the privatisation of Saudi Airlines, which includes spinning off subsidiary divisions.

The company is expected to stage a long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of 30 per cent of its shares in 2008.

Saudi Arabian Airlines’ catering division is also expected to stage an IPO next year.