The state airline Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) intends to buy 70 new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, specifically the A321 models from Airbus and B777 and B787 from Boeing, according to the Saudi financial website Maaal on Monday, citing private sources. According to these sources, Saudi Airlines Company is negotiating with several local banks to obtain a loan of more than 3 billion dollars to finance part of the agreement.
Saudi Airlines currently owns a fleet of 144 aircraft including B787-9 Dreamliner, B777-268, Boeing B777-300ER and A320-200 and A321, in addition to Airbus’ A330-300. and therefore, after the completion of the agreement, the Saudi Airlines fleet will increase to 214 aircraft. The agreement comes after the Saudi Arabian Airlines subsidiary “Flyadeal” canceled a purchase order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, following the double accident of this model in Indonesia and Ethiopia two years ago.
This is a golden period for the possibility of strengthening the centers at a time when the aviation industry is experiencing a decline due to the circumstances of Covid-19 and the cancellation of previous orders from international companies due to the decrease in travel traffic, due to the closures and measures witnessed by many countries in the world as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The trend of Saudi Airlines to increase its fleet comes at a time of global recession in aviation traffic, to take advantage of these events to obtain planes at lower prices due to the lack of global aviation demand, which is a great opportunity to empower the company.
An IATA report showed that the air transport sector suffered losses of 113,000 million dollars during the year 2020, but the organization has reaffirmed that after the decisions to ban travel between countries, the figure will increase, which augurs the worst crisis lived by airlines in their history.
The expansion of Saudi Airlines aligns with the objectives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to develop tourism and raise the sector’s contribution to GDP, within the main axes of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, to increase non-oil revenues and reduce dependency of the Kingdom of this sector. Thus, the Kingdom is making a tireless effort to promote this promising sector, which is one of the main pillars to diversify sources of income, since it is intended to raise its contribution to GDP to 10%, in addition to reaching 100 million visits by 2030, making the Kingdom among the five countries that receive the most tourists in the world, according to the Saudi news outlet.