Saudi Group Announces Aircraft Deal With Airbus

The Saudi Group has announced the largest aircraft deal in Saudi aviation history with Airbus during the opening day of the Future Aviation Forum 2024.

The event, held at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, was under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

This landmark agreement, which includes 105 confirmed aircraft, marks a significant milestone not only for the Saudi aviation industry but also for the broader MENA region.

The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and Chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation, Engr. Saleh Al-Jasser, along with other dignitaries, country ambassadors, key figures from the global aviation sector, and numerous media representatives and industry experts.

The deal, signed by H.E. Engr. Ibrahim Al Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, and Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, Executive Vice President Sales of the Commercial Aircraft Business at Airbus, includes A320neo and A321neo models. Saudia will acquire 54 A321neo aircraft, while flyadeal, the group’s low-cost carrier, will receive 12 A320neo and 39 A321neo aircraft.

These new aircraft support Saudia Group’s objectives to enhance connectivity with the Kingdom, aligning with key pillars of Saudi Vision 2030. This includes increasing guest capacity to 330 million and expanding destinations to 250 by 2030, as well as attracting 150 million visitors and increasing Umrah pilgrim capacity to 30 million by 2030.

The new aircraft feature spacious cabins with stylish interiors, equipped with the latest amenities and technology to ensure a superior travel experience prioritizing guest comfort and privacy. Additionally, the A320 family aircraft are 20% more fuel-efficient and produce fewer carbon emissions compared to previous generations.

Saudia Technic, the group’s Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) arm, will provide comprehensive maintenance services for the new aircraft. This will be further enhanced by the upcoming completion of the MRO Village at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, significantly increasing service capacity.

H.E. Engr. Saleh Al-Jasser emphasised the importance of the agreement, “The aviation sector is grateful for the tremendous support provided by the country’s leadership. This agreement is a key enabler of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy, enhancing operational performance, increasing flights and seat capacity, and launching new destinations.

It aligns with Saudi Vision 2030, connecting the world to the Kingdom and reaffirming our commitment to providing the best travel services.”

H.E. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar added, “Saudia has ambitious objectives to meet growing demand. We are increasing flights and seat capacity across our existing 100+ destinations on four continents, with further expansion plans. The progress of Saudi Vision 2030 attracts more visitors, tourists, entrepreneurs, and pilgrims each year. This significant deal will create jobs, increase local content, and contribute to the national economy.”

The ceremony also unveiled Saudia’s largest investment in guest experience, including the introduction of an AI-powered “Travel Companion” and luxurious business class suites that convert into flat beds. Guests will enjoy high-speed in-flight connectivity and top-tier entertainment with high-definition screens on board.

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