Saudi’s Flynas tries to poach Qatar Airways staff

The Saudi low cost carrier said it wanted personnel including pilots and sales, security and maintenance staff

Saudi low cost carrier Flynas is seeking to take advantage of the current rift between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours by poaching staff from state-owned Qatar Airways.

In a tweet on Monday, the carrier said it “welcomes the Saudi employees working on Qatar Airways Airbus A320, and invites anyone with the desire to join flynas and work among its crew”.

The airline said it wanted personnel including pilots and sales, security and maintenance staff.

Bans on Qatari flights by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and other Arab states mean that Qatar Airways has to find new uses for some of its fleet of A320s, which previously operated short-haul routes across the Gulf, and their crew.

According to the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), prior to the suspension, the airline was on average operating 25 flights per day to the UAE, 20 flights per day to Saudi Arabia and six daily flights to Bahrain.

Read: GCC rift: What kind of an impact are regional airlines facing?

“The loss of access to the local Saudi and UAE markets is significant, irrespective of transit/overflying access. Saudi and the UAE are Qatar Airways’ two single largest markets – bigger than even India,” CAPA said in a report last week.

CEO Akbar Al Baker told CNN in an interview yesterday that 18 destinations were now out of bounds for the airline, the majority of which are in Saudi Arabia.

Read: Qatar Airways profit up 21.7% amid uncertainty surrounding Gulf operations

As Qatar Airways faces difficulties Flynas is looking to expand in its domestic market and abroad.

The carrier placed an order to buy 80 Airbus A320neo narrow body jets worth $8.6bn in January with purchasing options for a further 40.

Read: Saudi’s flynas orders 60 Airbus A320neos, upgrades 20 more