May 20, 2024
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Airbus Secures Historic Order from Saudia Group for 105 Planes

Saudia Group has placed a landmark order for 105 Airbus aircraft, marking the largest aviation deal in Saudi Arabia's history and a significant milestone for Airbus in the Middle East and North Africa region
Airbus Secures Historic Order from Saudia Group for 105 Planes
Geraud Gordias - Unsplash

Airbus has achieved a major milestone with the announcement of a landmark order from the Saudia Group, encompassing a firm commitment for 105 aircraft. This deal, the largest in Saudi Arabia’s history, underscores the deepening relationship between Airbus and the Gulf region’s burgeoning aviation sector.

The agreement includes the purchase of 54 A321neo aircraft by Saudia, the national carrier, and a combined order of 51 planes (12 A320neo and 39 A321neo) by flyadeal, the group's low-cost subsidiary. This substantial order brings the Saudia Group's total Airbus A320neo family aircraft on order to 144, enhancing their fleet modernisation and expansion strategy.

Supporting Saudi Vision 2030

This significant order aligns seamlessly with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an ambitious plan initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the nation’s economy and reduce its reliance on oil. The Vision 2030 plan positions the aviation sector as a critical pillar for economic transformation, aiming to transform Saudi Arabia into a global trade and tourism hub.

Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, Executive Vice President of Sales for Airbus Commercial Aircraft, highlighted the importance of this order: “The new A320neo family aircraft will play a vital role in contributing to Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 plan.”

Ibrahim Al-Omar, Managing Director of the Saudia Group, echoed this sentiment, stating, “Saudi Vision 2030 attracts more visits, tourists, entrepreneurs, and pilgrims every year. This motivated our decision to conclude this important agreement, which will create jobs, increase local content, and contribute to the national economy.”

Expanding Operational Capabilities

The Saudia Group's fleet expansion is designed to meet the growing passenger demand and increase flight and seat capacity across more than 100 existing destinations spanning four continents. This expansion plan includes ambitious targets to triple annual passenger traffic to 330 million by the end of the decade.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector is set to benefit from new infrastructure projects, including a new airport in Riyadh capable of accommodating 120 million passengers annually and the launch of NEOM Airlines, which will be based in the futuristic city of NEOM.

Regional Competition and Strategic Growth

Saudi Arabia’s aggressive expansion in the aviation sector aims to compete with regional powerhouses like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Dubai, the UAE’s premier city, is home to the world’s busiest international airport and the hub of Emirates, the Middle East's largest airline.

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