LE BOURGET: Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation (Saudia), the national carrier of the Kingdom, has reached an agreement to expand its existing purchase of A320 aircraft from 35 to 100 aircraft comprising a firm order of sixty-five A320neo family plus options for a further 35 A320neo family.
As part of the agreement, the airline’s existing order of 35 aircraft is upsized to 15 A321XLRs and 20 A321neos.
The agreement was announced in a ceremony attended by Dr Ghassan Al-Shibl, Chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation, and signed by Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation, and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
Passenger demand in Saudi Arabia is experiencing exponential growth both on domestic, regional, as well as international routes. The additional aircraft will be deployed to support the national flag carrier to boost capacity and to serve the additional requirements and growing demand for the airline’s services – both short and long haul. Saudia currently flies to more than 95 routes across four continents.
Al-Jasser said: “Year-on-year growth has been in the double digits, both in domestic travel as well as the growing international transit traffic, as a result of the airline’s expanding route map and additional frequencies offered on existing routes. In addition to the narrow-body order, evaluations are currently underway for wide-body requirements, expected to be concluded within the next few months.”
Saudia operates a fleet of more than 150 narrow and widebody aircraft, including 100 Airbus A320 family and A330s.The airline operates one of the most modern fleets in the world – at an average aircraft age of less than five years.
Saudia in partnership with Airbus will continue to grow and develop Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector, which includes local industry participation in developing its future fleet.
A320neo has pioneered and incorporated the latest technologies, including its new generation engines and the industry’s reference cabin design, delivering 20 per cent fuel cost savings alone.
The A320neo also offers significant environmental benefits with nearly 50 per cent reduction in noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft