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Saudia Group places large Airbus order, 105 narrow-body jets

The state-owned group said Saudia would be receiving 54 of the A321neo jets, while flyadeal would acquire 12 A320neos and the remaining A321neos.

Saudia Group places large Airbus order, 105 narrow-body jets
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

Saudi Arabia is committed to transforming its aviation sector, aiming to turn it into a $2 billion industry. The kingdom’s roadmap includes a focus on the business jet segment, further bolstering the kingdom’s position as a global tourism and business hub. 

Saudia Group, owner of Saudia Airlines and budget carrier Flyadeal, a new landmark deal, is poised to significantly contribute to realizing the ambitious goals outlined in Vision 2030.

The state-owned group has signed a $19 billion agreement with Airbus for 105 Airbus narrow-body aircraft, marking the largest aircraft order in the kingdom’s history.

The agreement, announced at the Future Aviation Forum, includes a mix of A320neo and A321neo models. The new fleet will be split between Saudia, the national flag carrier, and flyadeal, the group’s low-cost subsidiary. Saudia will receive 54 A321neos, while flyadeal will take delivery of 12 A320neos and 39 A321neos. The first aircraft is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2026.

Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, said, “Saudia has ambitious operational objectives to meet growing demand. We are increasing flights and seat capacity, with plans for further expansion.”

He highlighted how the new aircraft will contribute to achieving Vision 2030 goals, including increasing passenger capacity to 330 million and expanding destinations to 250 by 2030.

The announcement also included details on passenger experience enhancements. Over the next five years, 88 new aircraft will be added, and existing cabins will be refurbished. Additionally, high-resolution, Bluetooth-enabled screens will be installed across the fleet starting in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, Executive Vice President of Sales at Airbus, praised the deal’s contribution to Vision 2030 and highlighted the A320neo family’s efficiency and environmental benefits.

The A320 family of aircraft is fuel-efficient, emitting 20% less fuel burn and carbon emissions than previous-generation aircraft.

Last year, Riyadh Air announced a massive six-runway airport and ordered 78 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

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