Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saudi Arabian Airlines confirms 777/787 order

Saudi Arabian Airlines has formally confirmed an order for up to 22 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, as well as for eight 787s.

The 777 order has long been expected, after Saudi Arabian listed 12 of the type as forming part of its fleet-modernisation plans.

Under an agreement signed in Riyadh, the carrier is also taking options on 10 of the type. The carrier already has 23 777-200s in its fleet.

"Our decision to order the 777-300ER is part of a long-term growth strategy to expand and modernise our fleet with newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, and is based on the aircraft's proven efficiencies," says Saudi Arabian director general Khalid Al-Molhem.

Boeing values the agreement for the 777-300ERs at $3.3 billion at catalogue prices.

Saudi Arabian has also formally stated that it is acquiring eight 787s. The airline had originally declared two years ago that it planned to take 12 787-9s, equipped with General Electric GEnx powerplants.

It intended to purchase eight of the 787s and lease the other four. Kuwaiti lessor ALAFCO subsequently stated that it has agreed to sell eight 787-9s, and lease four more, to the Jeddah-based carrier. The leased jets were originally due in 2012 while the purchased aircraft were scheduled to arrive in 2014-15.

Boeing's order backlog includes 22 787-8s, all with GEnx engines, for ALAFCO.

Saudi Arabian Airlines says that the 777s and 787s are part of a modernisation comprising 82 aircraft. It has also previously agreed to take 50 Airbus A320-family aircraft and eight A330s.

Al-Molhem says the aircraft will raise the airline's capacity and improve service on both its domestic and international route networks.

(David Kaminski-Morrow - Flight Global / ATI News)

No comments: