Saudi Arabia’s low-cost airline flyadeal renewed talks over the potential order of 50 narrow-body passenger jets as it continues its fleet expansion plan, local media reported.
Currently operating a monogamous fleet consisting of 22 Airbus A320 family aircraft, the King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED)-based carrier is considering ordering additional 50 narrow-body jets following its long-term fleet growth goal of 100 planes by 2030. However, the company has not decided yet which manufacturer to choose for this expansion: Airbus or Boeing.
So far, the carrier plans to order single-aisle planes such as Airbus A321neos and A321LRs [long-range – ed. note] or Boeing 737 MAXs.
The state-owned airline originally picked the 737 MAX 8 in 2018. At the time it made an order for 30 jets with options for 20 more in a deal that was valued at around $5.9 billion at list price. flyadeal was expecting that the MAX aircraft, which is capable of flying 189 passengers in a once-class cabin configuration, would help the company to cut its operating costs per seat by around 8%.
However, the airline was the first to officially reverse its commitment for the US manufacturer in 2019, after the global grounding of the MAX following two fatal crashes.
Speaking to The National during the Global Aerospace Summit, which took place in Abu Dhabi on May 25, 2022, flyadeal chief executive officer Con Korfiatis said that the airline will officially announce its decision in 2023.