The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has delayed the licensing of foreign carriers seeking to operate domestic flights in the kingdom until next year, Arab News has reported. The regulator has met with seven foreign airlines shortlisted from a total of 14 carriers, briefing them on the procedure to finalise the bidding process this month, said GACA spokesman, Khaled Al-Khaibary. "Steps are being taken to brief the remaining bidders and advise them on submitting their completed files for final processing," said Al-Khaibary, adding that licensing will not be awarded this month as previously reported, but should be ready by February next year. "Licensed carriers will have four to six months to set up their operations and abide by GACA qualifications and technical procedures. We will then give them 16 days to start services on domestic and international flights, so this is expected by April," he said.