Saudi Arabia’s first privately-owned low-cost carrier Flynas has signed an agreement with France-based Airbus for 60 A320neo (new engine option) aircraft on 16 January.

The contract is understood to fetch SR32.25bn ($8.6bn).

Flynas has also converted 20 A320ceo (current engine option) from a previous order to A320neo bringing the airline’s total firm order to 80 A320neo planes.

The deliveries are scheduled to take place over an eight year period starting in 2018.

The company said it plans to list in the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). ““We… look forward to being the first airline in the kingdom to be successfully listed on the Saudi Stock exchange, which will offer equity ownership to the public,” Ayed al-Jeaid, NAS Holding Group chairman, said.

Al-Jeaid did not specify a timeline for floating an IPO.

Flynas, a subsidiary of NAS Holding Group and partly owned by Kingdom Holding, 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.

Flynas is understood to have carried 6.3 million passengers in 2016, accounting for 14 per cent growth year-on-year.

The airline said it has successfully operated over 260,000 flights and carried more than 30 million passengers in the last ten years.

The carrier, which currently maintains 26 A320neo planes, first announced an intent to purchase 100 new aircraft in early 2016.

The A320neo belongs to the plane manufacturer’s single aisle passenger aircraft model. The neo in particular incorporates two new engine choices along with fuel-saving sharklet wingtip devices, which result in 15 to 20 per cent fuel burn savings per seat, according to Airbus.