Saudia Group expands fleet with purchase of 105 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft


In a significant move to bolster its aviation capabilities, Saudia Group, the umbrella group that includes Saudia, the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its low-cost counterpart, flyadeal, has confirmed a firm order for 105 additional A320neo Family aircraft. This landmark deal, comprising 12 A320neo and 93 A321neo planes, was officially announced at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh.

The announcement was made in the presence of notable figures including H.E. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistic Services of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and H.E. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group. Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, Executive Vice President Sales of the Commercial Aircraft business at Airbus, was also in attendance. This order escalates Saudia Group’s Airbus order backlog to a robust 144 A320neo family aircraft, underlining the group’s ambitious expansion plans.

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According to H.E. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, the decision to secure such a substantial order is driven by Saudia’s operational objectives to accommodate the increasing number of tourists, entrepreneurs, and pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative. This vision aims to transform the Kingdom into a global tourism hub by attracting over 150 million tourists annually by 2030. The new aircraft will play a critical role in increasing flight frequencies and seat capacity across Saudia’s existing network spanning over 100 destinations on four continents.

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The A320neo family aircraft are celebrated for their efficiency, reduced fuel burn, and lower emissions, aligning with global environmental goals. Benoît de Saint-Exupéry highlighted that the A320neo and A321neo models are integral to advancing Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector, offering significant economic advantages and enhanced passenger comfort. Notably, these aircraft can operate with up to 50% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), with Airbus targeting 100% SAF compatibility by 2030.

This acquisition not only supports Saudia Group’s strategic growth but also contributes to the Saudi National Tourism Strategy’s objectives, creating jobs and boosting the local content and economy. The A321neo, in particular, stands out as the largest member of the A320neo Family, offering unmatched range and performance that will be crucial for Saudia’s expansion plans.

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The move by Saudia Group to expand its fleet with such a significant number of Airbus aircraft is a clear indicator of the confidence in the continued growth and modernization of the Kingdom’s aviation industry. This deal is expected to have a ripple effect, enhancing the operational capabilities of Saudia and flyadeal, and by extension, strengthening the Kingdom’s position as a leading player in global aviation.

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