Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi and Qatar Airways have announced plans to launch new regional airlines.
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, said on Monday it bought a 33 percent stake in Switzerland's Darwin Airline, while Qatar Airways said on Tuesday it would set up a subsidiary, called Al Maha Airways, to serve the domestic market in neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The announcements were made here on the sidelines of Dubai Airshow 2013, which runs through Thursday.
Etihad Airways chief executive James Hogan said the deal in Lugano-based Darwin was made to gain access to Switzerland's banking metropolis Zurich.
Darwin will be renamed Etihad Regional, but the expansion is subject to regulatory approval.
Qataria, as Qatar Airways is called in Arabic, said it would launch domestic operations in Saudi Arabia in the first half of 2014. It would be the first time ever for a foreign airline to be allowed to serve the domestic Saudi market for passenger flights.
The Saudi kingdom, with a population of 28 million, is currently served by a duopoly of Saudi Arabian Airlines and Nas Air.