Riyadh: Flyadeal, Saudi Arabian Airlines’ budget carrier, will lease six Airbus A320s, an Airbus executive said, a sign that the European plane maker might again have pipped Boeing in the race to win a big Middle East deal.
Flyadeal, which is set to start services in mid-2017, is aiming to operate a fleet of up to 50 narrow-body jets by 2020 and Saleh Al Jasser, then Director General, the state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines, said last year Flyadeal would operate leased Airbus or Boeing jets.
Fouad Attar, Managing Director, Middle East, Airbus said Flyadeal would operate six of his company’s planes. He was speaking on the sidelines of a news conference in Riyadh announcing an 80 aircraft deal with Saudi Arabia’s only operating low-cost airline, flynas.
An Airbus spokesman later confirmed the aircraft type and leasing arrangements for Flyadeal.
The current model A320s are being leased through an undisclosed lessor and delivery starts in the second half of the year, the spokesman said, adding that no further deals had been done with Flyadeal beyond the six aircraft.
Saudi Arabian Airlines did not immediately respond a request for comment.
An Airbus A320neo, the latest version of the jet, was displayed at Flyadeal’s launch in April 2016.
The Airbus spokesman also confirmed Saudi start-up SaudiGulf Airlines, which recently started operations, has taken delivery of the four current model A320s it ordered.