Flynas axes Manchester service

SAUDI airline Flynas has pulled its Manchester to Jeddah service after just three months.

It said passenger numbers on the three-times a week service had not met initial expectations following the launch in early May. But it is increasing capacity to London to meet demand.

The low cost airline, owned by the Riyadh-based group National Air Services, went up against the national carrier Saudia Airlines which restarted direct flights between Manchester and Jeddah in April after a seven-year absence.

Flynas previously focused on short haul flights to destinations in the Middle East but added Manchester and Gatwick, and five other international destinations, as part of a push into the long haul market. It wanted to attract a large number of the 100,000 religious pilgrims who travel from the UK to Saudi Arabia every year.

In a statement it said: “Load factor on the route has not met the company’s initial expectations. The Jeddah-Gatwick twice weekly flights continue to be operational and we will soon launch a Riyadh-Gatwick twice-weekly service using wide-body A330 aircraft to meet increasing demand from London-bound guests.

“At Flynas, we are always reviewing our route network to enhance operational efficiency and ensure that we continue to deliver value for money and an exceptional guest experience.”