Felix considers C-Series to support regional growth
Yemen's second national carrier, Felix Airways is considering the Bombardier C-Series as an alternative to the Airbus A320 for the next phase of its growth
Speaking at MRO Middle East, Felix chief executive Mohammed Al Arrasha said that the Sana'a- based airline was studying both types to meet its needs for the 100+ seat market that it needs to support its growth in the region.
Engineer Al Arrasha also said the airline was in the final stages of acquiring a Boeing 727 Freighter with which to launch cargo services following successfully winning a contract with the Yemeni government for the export of frest produce such as fish and vegetables.
Felix began operations as a domestic carrier in Yemen but has been developing a growing reputation as it has extended beyond the Yemeni borders to serve seven regional routes in Oman, Sharjah, Saudi Arabia and Djabouti.
With a large Saudi ownership of the airline, Felix enjoys a good relationship with the Saudis and has been granted fifth freedom rights through Damman and is planning new destinations including Beirut, Alexandria, Sharm el Sheikh and Haleb.
In its two years of operation it has uplifted 680,000 passengers and Arrasha says that the airline is now achieving break even against its operating costs.
"We are looking at these extra routes and we recognise that we need bigger aircraft. We currently use Bombardier CRJ regional jets but demand is increasing. The C-Series is interesting, so we are looking closely at that."
Al Arrasha said that the freighter could be in the fleet within the next 10-12 weeks. Following the clearance by US and European authorities Yemeni cargo flights have now been approved, Al Arrasha said.