Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has reached an agreement to expand its existing A320neo family order from 35 to as many as 100 neo aircraft including 35 options. The additional firm order takes Saudia’s order of A320neo family aircraft to 65, of which 15 are A321XLRs and 20 are A321neos.
The agreement was announced at the Paris Air Show in a ceremony attended by Chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl and signed by Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director-general of Saudia, and Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer.
Passenger demand in the Kingdom is experiencing exponential growth on domestic, regional, as well as international routes. The additional aircraft will be deployed to support the national flag carrier’s plan to boost capacity. 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 wide-body 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 catering to the different customer segments in the Kingdom, region and beyond.
Since the launch of Saudia’s transformation plan in 2015, the airline has introduced a number of new products and services onboard, added new aircraft to the fleet, and expanded technological features on its mobile app and website.
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. The A320neo also offers significant environmental benefits with nearly 50 percent reduction in noise footprint compared to its previous generation aircraft.