Saudi Arabian Airlines to acquire 787s and A330s

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Saudi Arabian Airlines has identified itself as a customer for 12 Boeing 787 and eight Airbus A330 aircraft, which the flag-carrier is to acquire as part of a 10-year fleet plan.

Speaking to's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence (ATI) at the IATA annual general meeting in Istanbul, Saudi Arabian Airlines director general Khalid Al Molhem said the fleet plan covered some 70 aircraft.

The Jeddah-based carrier has already committed to a narrowbody fleet featuring up to 50 A320s.

But Al Molhem tells ATI that the airline is also acquiring 12 787s and eight A330s, adding that it has placed “firm” commitments for the jets. They will be taken as a mix of leased and purchased aircraft.

No engine selection has been given. Saudi Arabian Airlines is a strong General Electric customer, with the US manufacturer’s engines fitted to much of its Boeing 747 and 777 fleet.

While the narrowbody aircraft will begin arriving in 2009, says Al Molhem, the widebodies will be introduced from 2011-12.

Saudi Arabian Airlines’ fleet renewal will involve the carrier’s replacing its older Boeing 747 and Boeing MD-90 aircraft.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news