Qatar Airways adds fifth Saudi city to network

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Qatar Airways will begin services to the central Saudi Arabian city of Gassim on 7 January 2013.

The Gulf carrier will operate four flights per week on the Doha-Gassim service, deploying an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration.

With the addition of the new route, Qatar Airways will operate a total of 64 weekly flights to five Saudi destinations - also including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina.

Separately, the airline is among seven bidders being considered by Saudi civil aviation authority GACA for a domestic operating licence.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker confirmed his interest in launching a Saudi subsidiary in July, but said the kingdom must first reform its regulatory landscape.

Saudi Arabia's two existing domestic operators - Nas Air and Saudia - frequently complain about anti-competitive regulations such as the domestic fare cap.