Saudi Arabian flag-carrier Saudia has signed an SR11.2 billion ($3 billion) financing agreement which will partly cover the acquisition of 73 aircraft.

The airline describes the aircraft as “previously announced” and comprising eight Boeing 787-10s, 35 A321neos – of which 15 are the long-range A321XLR – and 30 A320neos.

Saudia says the 30 A320neos are those being allocated to its budget subsidiary Flyadeal, and adds that five of the 787-10s have already been delivered.

The airline says the agreement covers its aircraft financing needs to mid-2024.

“This agreement will contribute substantially to the kingdom’s long-term economic growth and development,” says minister of transport Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser.

“[Saudia’s] fleet expansion will boost tourism and its allied sectors, generate substantial employment opportunities, significantly improve air connectivity, and enhance the flow of foreign investments.”

Saudia 787-c-Saudia

Source: Saudia

Saudia has been modernising its fleet with types including the 787

The company points out that bids for the financing exceeded SR18 billion, stating that this “shows the market’s confidence” in its long-term strategy.

Six Saudi Arabian banks are involved in the financing deal: Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi British Bank, Arab National Bank, Samba, Bank AlJazira, and Bank Albilad.

“The global economy will ultimately recover, and we want to ensure that we are fully-prepared and well-positioned early on to meet the demands,” says Al Jasser.

Saudia director-general Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar adds that the agreement “demonstrates our resilience” as well as the carrier’s “determination” to obtain competitive funding for fleet expansion.