Saudi airlines took the spotlight at the recently concluded Paris Air Show, with major aircraft deals that solidified Saudi Arabia’s commitment to growing its aviation sector.
Saudia and flynas, two prominent Saudi airlines, signed agreements with Boeing and Airbus, respectively.
The announcement was made by Saudi’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). In a statement, Saudi’s aviation authority said, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a rapid surge in air passenger traffic, both domestic and international, over the past few years. As part of the strategy, the Kingdom aims to enhance its air connectivity to 250 destinations worldwide, transporting 330 million passengers by 2030.”
Saudi airline orders
Leading low-cost Saudi airline flynas has fortified its partnership with Airbus by finalizing an agreement for 30 new A320neo aircraft. This supplements their existing order of 120 A320neo planes, including 10 A321XLRs, bringing the airline’s total commitment to Airbus to 150 aircraft.
With this new order, flynas aims to bolster its aircraft order book to 250 planes in the near future, positioning itself as a key player in the aviation industry.
Meanwhile, Saudia has further strengthened its partnership with Boeing. The airline added 30 aircraft to its existing order, raising the total firm order to 65 planes.
Saudi’s national airline has plans to expand its fleet to 100 aircraft in the near future, demonstrating its commitment to meet growing passenger demand.
Ambitious global strategy
Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector has made significant strides in recent years, driven by an ambitious aviation strategy. In addition, it has improved its air connectivity, climbing 14 ranks on the Air Connectivity Index published by the International Air Transport Association.
Moreover, it has advanced to the 16th position globally in the Maritime Navigation Network Connectivity Index, according to the UNCTAD report for Q2 2023. These achievements reflect Saudi’s dedication to enhancing its transportation infrastructure and fostering global connectivity.
Saudi Arabia is also keen to serve as a global logistics hub by doubling its air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons by the decade’s end.
Continuous service upgrades
With their aircraft order, Saudi airlines flynas and Saudia have set their growth plans on full throttle. However, part of their strategy also includes enhancing services, not just expanding their fleet.
As a result, both Saudi airlines have garnered international recognition for their service excellence. Saudia has jumped to the 23rd spot on the “Skytrax” annual list of the world’s top 100 airlines.
On the other hand, flynas has been declared the fourth best low-cost airline globally. It is likewise the top-ranking budget airline in the region for the sixth consecutive year. These accolades underscore both airlines’ dedication to delivering high-quality travel experiences.
The Saudi delegation at the Paris Air Show was led by the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and GACA chairman Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser. GACA president Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej also attended the air show.
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