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.
This latest purchase is in line with the group’s SV2020 Transformation Program which includes the establishment and growth of a dual-brand strategy of operating airlines which cater to the different customer segments in the Kingdom, region and beyond.
Since the launch of Saudia’s SV2020 Transformation program in 2015, Saudia introduced a number of new products and services onboard; added new aircraft to the fleet; expanded technological features on its mobile app and website – providing enhanced conveniences and value for its guests.
In line with the growth trajectory for aviation sector in the Kingdom, industrial and manufacturing cooperation with Airbus in conjunction with local companies in Saudi Arabia is also incorporated in this agreement.
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.
The A320neo and its derivative aircraft family members are the world’s best-selling single aisle aircraft with over 6,100 orders from over 100 customers since its launch in 2010. It 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. – TradeArabia News Service
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.