Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Saudi Carrier Flynas Hires Goldman, Morgan Stanley for Potential IPO Next Year

6 months ago

Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier Flynas has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Saudi Fransi Capital for a potential initial public offering on the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul), according to a Bloomberg report.

Flynas expects to go public next year. Earlier reports had suggested that Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund — Public Investment Fund (PIF) had been in talks to buy a stake in Flynas.  

This week, the airline announced taking delivery of three Airbus A320neo aircraft, further upscaling its fleet to 63 aircraft.

The airline has an ambitious expansion plan under the objective of connecting the world to the Kingdom, and in parallel with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s National Civil Aviation Strategy to increase the number of international destinations linked to the Kingdom to 250.

With the latest deliveries, Flynas has more than doubled the size of its all-Airbus fleet by more than 100% in less than two years, increasing its A320neo aircraft by more than 73% to 46 aircraft. The fleet also has four A330 wide-body aircraft.

The airline signed a $3.7 billion agreement with Airbus for 30 new A320neo aircraft this June, as part of an order of 120 Airbus aircraft and approval to increase new orders to 250.

On December 1, the airline launched its newest operation base at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah with flights to 4 international destinations — Dubai, Amman, Istanbul and Ankara as well as two domestic flights to Abha and Tabuk.

Flynas now flies to a total of 10 destinations from its Madinah base, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Cairo.

Since its inception in 2007, Flynas connects over 70 domestic and international destinations, operating a schedule of more than 1,500 weekly flights. The airline aims to expand its reach further, targeting a network that spans 165 destinations in total.

Airlines

EasyJet Partners with Datalex to Personalize Fare Options

2 years ago

Datalex, a Dublin-based tech company, partnered with easyJet to up the airline’s game in merchandising to travelers and the customer experience.

EasyJet offers passengers Standard, Standard Plus, and Essentials fares, as well as add-ons such as extra legroom.

EasyJet fare types. Source: EasyJet

A Datalex spokesperson said this new digital retail partnership with the airline would enable EasyJet to “personalize fare families and bundles,” and give passengers “additional ancillary options.”

Among airlines, Datalex already works with Virgin Australia, JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Air China, and Air Transat. 

Airlines

Majority Owner of India’s SpiceJet Looks to Sell Part of His Stake

2 years ago

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian carrier SpiceJet, is said to be in talks with a Middle Eastern carrier and an Indian conglomerate to partially sell a portion of his stake in the budget airline.

Singh holds around 60 percent stake in the airline.

“The company continues to be in discussions with various investors to secure sustainable financing and will make appropriate disclosures in accordance with applicable regulations,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

A major Middle Eastern airline has expressed interest to pick a 24 percent stake and a board seat in SpiceJet. An Indian business conglomerate has also approached Singh for a stake in the airline, IANS reported while quoting a source.

With two carriers — Akasa and Jet 2.0 — set to debut in India this year, the stake sale would help bring much-needed equity infusion into SpiceJet, India’s third largest airline by market share.

The airline posted a net loss of $158 million in the April-December period of 2021, and is yet to declare financial results for the January-March period of 2022.

Last year, Indian aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) noted that SpiceJet had been operating on “cash and carry” method and approved vendors were not being paid on regular basis.

On August 2, SpiceJet stated that it had entered into a full and final settlement with the Airports Authority of India and has cleared all outstanding principal dues of the airport operator. “With this, SpiceJet will no longer remain on “cash and carry” at AAI run airports across the country and will revert to advance payment mechanism for daily flight operations,” a statement from the airline read.

Last year, SpiceJet had also announced its plan to transfer its cargo and logistics services on a slump sale basis to its subsidiary SpiceXpress to help the company raise funds independently. “The proposed hiving off of SpiceXpress is proceeding as per plan,” the airline spokesperson said.

Last month, DGCA issued a show-cause notice to Spicejet after its aircraft were hit by at least eight incidents of technical malfunction since June 19. The incidents included crack in the aircraft’s windshield, engine catching fire, weather radar malfunction and fuselage door warning.

On July 27, the airline was asked to operate only 50 percent of its approved flights for summer schedule for eight weeks.