Saudi Arabian low-cost operator Flynas is to add flights from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi next month as part of revamped codeshare partnership with United Arab Emirates carrier Etihad Airways.

Etihad launched its own service on the route a year ago and already operates 13 weekly flights, predominantly using Airbus A330s, on the route. It will expand its offering by codeshaing on Flynas' new five-times a week service. Flynas will deploy two-class Airbus A320s on its service from 16 December.

The two carriers originally signed a codeshare in October 2012, under which Flynas adds its code to 20 destinations served by Etihad. The deal initially covered Flynas flights from Jeddah and Medina to Abu Dhabi, neither of which it currently operates, although it codeshares with Etihad on these routes. The new Riyadh service means Flynas will resume flights to Abu Dhabi.

The partners also plan to add the Flynas code to Etihad destinations in the Indian sub-continent over the coming months, subject to regulatory approval.

"Flynas continues to expand across the region and, by adding Abu Dhabi to our [Gulf Co-operation Council] route network, we are significantly increasing both capacity and choice for travellers, including pilgrims as well as business commuters and leisure seekers," says NAS Holding chief executive Bander Al Mohanna.

"Moreover, we expect the mix of people travelling on the Abu Dhabi route to include Flynas’ guests in transit to other destinations, which will substantially increase the volume of codeshare traffic."

Source: Cirium Dashboard