Saudi low-cost airline National Air Services (NAS) is targeting an initial public offering (IPO) in 2012-2013 and eyes launching a foreign hub, most likely in Dubai, by early 2012, its CEO said.
NAS will launch an IPO after posting profits for 2 consecutive years, a main condition for going public, Simon Stewart told Reuters in a phone interview.
'We will not be profitable by 2010. But we will break even or more than break even in 2011,' he said, declining to give further details or to specify the planned IPO value.
Of the 3 locations being considered for the foreign hub, Dubai is the most likely choice, he said.
'We are expanding aggressively and we are targeting a (new) route each month. By early 2012 we should have routes in Turkey, Cyprus, India, and we are targeting Pakistan,' he said.
In May, NAS Chief Commercial Officer Maria Angelika Hanne told Reuters the airline is expected to have 2.6 million passengers this year.
NAS flies out of 6 Saudi cities including the capital Riyadh to the UAE, Kuwait, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and India.
The company, which is 37% owned by Saudi investment firm Kingdom Holding, currently has 14 aircraft, and will add 2 Embraer E190s in 2010, 2 in 2011 and 3 Airbus A320s in 2012, Hanne has said.
NAS and its rival Sama Airlines, which has halted operations due to financial difficulties, last year borrowed SR200 million ($53.33 million) from the government for losses due to operating compulsory routes under a price cap on domestic fares.