Saudi low-cost carrier, flynas, has reported passenger numbers of 2.4 million for the first quarter of this year.

It represents a 26 per cent increase over the 1.9 million passengers it carried in the corresponding period last year.

The number of flights it operated in Q1 2023 stood at 17,000, a 13 per cent year-on-year increase over the 15,000 flights it operated in Q1 2022.

The increase in its activity meant that the airline also reported a 47 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue.

Bander Almohanna, CEO and managing director of flynas, said: “The growth rates and increases in flynas’ operations during the first quarter of 2023 are a result of the strategic expansion plan that we launched in early 2022 under the slogan ‘We Link the World to the Kingdom’ allowing us to increase our fleet size to 48 aircraft by May 2023.

“We announced adding 10 new destinations and routes in Asia and Europe during the 2023 summer season, as of next June, bringing the total summer destinations to 20, as we keep expanding our ever-growing international network, notably after the company’s board of directors approved increasing our orders for new aircraft to 250 aircraft and our plan to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) in two more countries, with the aim of doubling operations and expansion internationally.”

The national strategy for the civil aviation sector in kingdom under the Saudi Vision 2030 is to reach 330 million passengers annually, and connect the kingdom with 250 destinations worldwide by 2030.

Earlier this month, flynas said that it had inducted three aircraft into its fleet as part of a US$10 billion order to purchase 120 aircraft from Airbus. It includes one widebody Airbus A330 and two new A320 neo, representing the second batch of 19 new aircraft to be delivered this year. Over the last 26 months, flynas has added 22 aircraft to its fleet.

Flynas recently launched two destinations to Baghdad and Erbil in Iraq, and also signed an agreement with the Air Connectivity Program to launch five direct international destinations to the capitals of Iraq, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as to the second largest Kyrgyz city of Osh, to facilitate the arrival of visitors, pilgrims, and Umrah performers to the kingdom.