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Saudia to introduce 787-10s this year

Saudi Arabian flag-carrier Saudia is to introduce Boeing 787-10s this year, the largest variant of the twinjet family.

The carrier already has 13 787-9s in service, all powered by General Electric GEnx-1B engines.

But chief executive Jaan Albrecht, speaking to FlightGlobal at an event in Munich, said the carrier would start bringing the -10 into its fleet this year.

Albrecht signalled that three 787-10s would arrive in 2019 with a further seven in 2020.

Saudia has yet to disclose configuration details for its 787-10s.

Boeing has only disclosed orders for eight 787-9s from Saudia, placed in 2010. It delivered eight -9s to the flag-carrier over the course of January 2016 to August 2017.

The airframer lists eight 787-10s as being assigned to an unidentified customer – giving the date of the original order as December 2008, long before the -10’s launch, suggesting a conversion of previously-ordered variants.

It is not clear whether these aircraft are linked to Saudia, although the airline has confirmed to FlightGlobal that it has eight -10s on direct order.

Saudia has been undergoing an extensive fleet modernisation. “We’ve integrated 82 new aircraft in the last three years,” says Albrecht, who was appointed to his post in late 2016. The carrier is aiming to build a fleet of 200 aircraft by 2020.

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