Flynas to sign multibillion-dollar planes deal

12 January 2017

Carrier currently operates an all-Airbus fleet

Saudi Arabia’s low-cost carrier Flynas, partly owned by Kingdom Holding, is set to sign a contract worth SR32.25bn ($8.6bn) for the purchase of passenger jets from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus on 16 January.

Kingdom Holding said the first batch of the aircraft order is expected to be delivered in early 2018.

It is understood that the contract entails the purchase of more than 60 A320neo narrow body aircraft, reports news agency Reuters.

The carrier, which currently maintains 26 all-Airbus fleet, first announced an intent to purchase 100 aircraft in early 2016.

“We will be looking at both leased and owned aircraft to gradually replace our existing fleet of 26 all-Airbus leased fleet,” Paul Byrne, Flynas chief executive, told MEED in January 2016. “We will be looking at a combination of Boeing and Airbus fleet…if we were to go only for Airbus then they should be willing to offer us the best deal.”

Flynas became profitable for the first time in 2015 following eight loss-making years since it obtained a licence to operate domestic flights in Saudi Arabia.

As of 2016, domestic routes account for 70 per cent of the carrier’s flight with the rest accounted for by short-haul flights to destinations like Cairo and Istanbul.

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