Flynas Expands African Network With Eritrea Route

market in asmara

A market in Asmara, Eritrea.

Credit: Andrew Palmer/Alamy Stock Photo

Saudi Arabian airline flynas has announced plans to initiate operations to Eritrea, a northeast African country situated on the Red Sea coast.

Starting from Jan. 17, 2024, the carrier will establish a connection between Jeddah and Eritrea's capital, Asmara, with two weekly flights on Wednesdays and Sundays utilizing Airbus A320neo aircraft. This 441-mi. (383-nm) route marks the sole nonstop service between Saudi Arabia and Eritrea.

With this expansion, flynas will bolster its African network to eight destinations, including Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Algiers and Constantine in Algeria; Cairo, Giza and Sohag in Egypt; and Casablanca in Morocco. This compares to the three cities served in 2019 when the LCC operated flights to Algiers, Cairo and Khartoum, Sudan.

Eritrea, with a population of approximately 3.7 million, currently has five international routes serving Asmara. Ethiopian Airlines operates three daily flights from Addis Ababa, flydubai provides a 9X-weekly connection from Dubai and Turkish Airlines offers three flights per week from Istanbul.

Egyptair and Tarco Aviation also connect Asmara with Cairo and Port Sudan twice a week and once a week, respectively, according to data from OAG Schedules Analyser. The Port Sudan-Asmara route was the latest to launch—on Nov. 7.

Earlier this month, flynas opened a new daily service between Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, and Bahrain and will commence Jeddah-Bahrain flights in December. The latter route will be served twice a week onboard A320neos.

The airline’s expansion to Eritrea comes despite IATA lamenting the amount of blocked funds in the country. The organization estimated that about $79 million was being blocked in 2022 and called on the state to expedite the release of the funds.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.