Saudia on an upward trajectory
26 / 09 / 2016
Sulaiman Alhamdan, the chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), has confirmed that over the course of the last two years, the airline ordered a total of 113 aircraft, some of which are already in delivery.
Fifty Airbus aircraft (A320s and A330) were order last year, some of which have since been received, but Saudia has also placed orders for another 63 aircraft – 15 Boeing 777-300ERs, 13 B787s and 35 A320/321s – Alhamdan said.
He declared that these orders reflect “the strength of our national economy” and that “the new agreements reinforces (sic) the national carrier’s strength and raises its operational efficiency”.
Saudia’s director general engineer, Saleh Aljasser, observed: “In an unprecedented move in the national carrier’s history, it will receive 30 aircraft next year.”
He noted that the agreements to acquire 113 aircraft are in line with the carrier’s fleet renewal and expansion initiative that forms part of Saudia’s Transformation Program
By 2020, the carrier expects to be operating a fleet of 200 aircraft.
Next year will see the delivery of 22 widebody aircraft (B777-300ERs, B787-9s and A330s), while over the course of the final four months of this year it is to take delivery of 25 aircraft, 21 of which will be widebodies.
These aircraft will add to the four received earlier this year.
As part of the fleet renewal process, Saudia is also taking several aircraft out of service. Four B747-400s have already been phased out this year, while five B777-200s will be withdrawn before the end of 2016 and the remaining 18 B777-200s will be phased-out before the end of 2017.
“We have also scheduled the phase-out of our early generation of A320s of 28 aircraft over the next two years,” Aljasser reported.