Saudia Group agrees largest ever Saudi jet deal with Airbus

By Thomson Reuters May 20, 2024 | 6:07 AM

By Pesha Magid

RIYADH (Reuters) -Saudia Group, owner of the Saudia airline and budget carrier flyadeal, on Monday announced an order for 105 Airbus narrow-body aircraft in what the company’s director general described as the largest ever order from a Saudi airline.

The order consists of 12 A320neo and 93 A321neo single aisle aircraft. State-owned Saudia Group said that Saudia would be receiving 54 of the A321neo jets, while flyadeal would acquire 12 A320neos and the remaining 39 A321neo aircraft.

Neither Saudia Group nor Airbus disclosed the value of the deal, however, the Future Aviation Forum where the order was announced said the record Saudi order was worth $19 billion.

Planemakers typically offer discounts on large orders.

Saudia Group Director General Ibrahim Al Omar said the planes would start being delivered from the first quarter of 2026. Saudia Group said the last would be delivered in 2032.

Saudia Group’s backlog of Airbus jets now stands at 144 of the A320neo family aircraft, Airbus said in a statement.

State-owned Saudia plans to expand rapidly over the next seven years as part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 programme to wean the kingdom off its oil dependence. Tourism is a key pillar of the economic diversification strategy.

In November, Saudia said it was close to an agreement on an order for 100 narrow-body jets but wanted the manufacturer to agree to supply an additional 50-plus jets. It did not specify the manufacturer at the time.

(Reporting by Rachna Uppal and Pesha Magid, Editing by Louise Heavens)