flynas Inaugurates New Route From Riyadh To Najran

Yesterday, 12 March, Saudi Arabian budget carrier flynas began its four times weekly domestic service between Riyadh and Najran. These flights operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, utilizing an Airbus A320.

flynas Inaugurates New Route From Riyadh To Najran
The Airbus A320 is the main aircraft operating this new route. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Service details

According to FlightRadar24.com, the flight time for this service is roughly 80-85 minutes with a block time of 100 minutes. This four times weekly service has the following departure times:

  • Riyadh to Najran: Depart at 12:40 and arrive at 14:10
  • Najran to Riyadh: Depart at 14:45 and arrive at 16:15

As flynas is a budget carrier, the airline offers cheaper airfare than the competition at the expense of seat selection, checked baggage and an inflight snack.

flynas Inaugurates New Route From Riyadh To Najran
flynas flight XY135’s flight path between Riyadh to Najran. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

The competition

flynas is going up against some heavy competition on this route. Not in terms of airlines but in terms of flight options when compared to Saudia.

Saudia is the only other airline operating this route – but with two to three flights running per day. Also using Airbus A320 family aircraft on this route, Saudia’s frequency is four to five times more than this new flynas service. An estimated 74,000 traveled this route in 2019, according to anna.aero, via data from OAG Traffic Analyser.

The only other way to get between these two cities is a nearly nine-hour drive.

flynas Inaugurates New Route From Riyadh To Najran
Saudia operates this route two to three times per day using Airbus A320s or A321s. Photo: Meteb Ali via Wikimedia Commons

What’s in Najran?

As you can see on the map, Najran is a city in southwestern Saudi Arabia close to the Saudi-Yemeni border. The city shares its name with the province in which it is situated. It is also the capital city of the province.

According to Hello Travel, Najran is one of the fastest-growing urban zones in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its population has grown from 47,500 in 1974 to 246,880 in 2004. Its latest population estimate sits at over 500,000.

For tourists, the following are attractions in the area:

  • Abu As-Su’ud traditional village
  • The Rub’ Al-Khali, translating to “Empty Quarter”, which is the legendary desert of Saudi Arabia
  • Emarah Palace is located in the center of Najran city
  • and Al-Aan Palace, also known as Se’dan Palace, built in 1688

2020 expansion for flynas

2020 is supposed to be an exciting period of growth for flynas. Most of the airline’s new seasonal flights are set to commence in May 2020. In fact, on 19 May, the airline has plans to commence thrice-weekly return services between Dammam and Batumi, Dammam and Sharm el-Sheikh, Jeddah and Salzburg, as well as Riyadh and Hurghada.

On 20 May 2020, thrice-weekly return services will commence between Jeddah and Batumi, Riyadh and Salzburg, and Riyadh and Tirana. In addition, a four-times-weekly return service between Jeddah and Baku will commence on the same day.

Of course, a number of these plans are in jeopardy with the coronavirus pandemic taking a huge toll on aviation around the world. Saudi Arabia is no exception. The country has essentially shut itself off from most parts of the world – closing land borders with its neighbors and suspending air travel to a wide range of destinations.

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