Saudia Group orders 105 new Airbus A320neo family aircraft for future expansion


The Saudia Group has announced an order for a further 105 Airbus A320neo family aircraft in a ceremony at the Future Aviation Forum being held In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between May 20 and 22, 2024. The new aircraft will be used to bolster the fleets of both Saudia and its low-cost subsidiary, flyadeal in a deal that will help the Group keep pace with the Kingdom’s ambitious expansion plans for aviation in the coming years.

The order also represents the largest order for new aircraft in the carrier’s 79-year history, with the first of the new aircraft scheduled to arrive with the airline in the first quarter of 2026. The breakdown of the order includes 12 A320neos and 93 A321neo aircraft and will increase Saudia Group’s Airbus aircraft order backlog to 144 A320neo family aircraft.

The agreement was announced in the presence of H.E. Saleh bin Nasser AIJasser, Minister of Transport and Logistic Services of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, and Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, Executive Vice President of Sales of Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft business.


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

“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,” he added.

“The new additions of the A320neo family aircraft will play a vital role in contributing to Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan,” said de Saint-Exupéry. “It will enable Saudia Group’s strategy to advance the Kingdom’s aviation capabilities while enabling both airlines to benefit from the A320neo family’s exceptional efficiency, superior economics, and the highest level of passenger comfort as well as lower fuel-burn and emissions.”

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According to ch-aviation, Saudia already operates 59 Airbus A320 family aircraft. This comprises 37 A320-200s, 15 A321-200s, and seven A321-200neos. The carrier also had a further 14 A320neo and 15 A321neo XLR on order before this latest announcement. Flyadeal operates a current fleet of 11 A320-200s and 21 A321neos, with a further ten A320neos outstanding from an existing order placed in 2019.    

Saudi Arabia is in the process of broadening its ambitions for both commercial aviation and tourism through the Saudi National Tourism Strategy. This plan (‘Vision 2030’) has set a target of attracting more than 150 million tourists to the Kingdom by 2030. According to the Saudia Group, this latest order with Airbus will play “a significant role in strengthening the Kingdom’s ambition of becoming one of the top global tourism destinations.”

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Through the Vision 2023 strategy, the aviation industry in the country is already soaring with ambitious plans for new airlines and airports in the coming years. Analysts forecast that the aviation sector’s contribution to the economy is forecast to triple from where it was in 2018 ($21.3 billion) to $74.6 billion by 2030. The country will also welcome the arrival of its second major international airline in 2025 when newcomer Riyadh Air takes to the skies for the first time.

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