Airbus illustration, Saudia and Flyadeal A320neo series jets.

Airbus Lands $19B Saudi Order

May 22, 2024
A state-owned holding company has booked a total of 105 narrow-body jets from Airbus, A320neos and A321neos, part of an ambitious plan to grow the kingdom’s commercial aerospace industry.

Saudia Group, a state-owned holding company for two airlines, booked an order for 105 Airbus A320neo aircraft, a placement reportedly worth $19 billion. The actual value is not confirmed by Airbus nor the buyer, but the order consists of 12 A320neo and 93 A321neo aircraft for the former Saudi Arabian Airlines (now rebranded Saudia) and the budget carrier Flyadeal.

The twin-engine A320neo narrow-body aircraft are the best-selling jets in the world, a status that Airbus is likely to retain for 2024 given the ongoing problems with rival Boeing’s narrow-body program. Airbus has set a target for 800 jet deliveries for this year, though like Boeing it is having difficulties keeping up with heavy demand for new aircraft.

Saudia will receive 54 A321neos, while Flyadeal will take the 12 A320neos and the remaining 40 A321neos.

The delivery schedules were not announced. The new order raises Saudia Group’s order backlog with Airbus to 144 A320neo family aircraft.

"Saudia has ambitious operational objectives to meet growing demand. We are increasing flights and seat capacity across our existing 100+ destinations on four continents, with plans for further expansion,” stated Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of Saudia Group.

The expansion is a part of a broad expansion of Saudi Arabia’s aerospace sector, referred to as Saudi vision 2030, which involves launching several new airlines and developing a major new airport in Riyadh. The kingdom aims to draw 150 million tourists annually by 2030.

"The progress of Saudi Vision 2030 is attracting more visits, tourists, entrepreneurs, and pilgrims each year. This motivated our decision to secure this significant deal, which will create jobs, increase local content, and contribute to the national economy," Al-Omar explained of the group’s new Airbus order.

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