Saudi Carrier Flyadeal In Talks for New Jets 

LONDON – Saudi Arabian-based Low-Cost Carrier Flyadeal is eyeing new jets as it prepares itself for an increased surge of travelers. 

Con Korfiatis, chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s low-cost airline Flyadeal said that it could be looking into procuring new jets, including Boeing 737 MAX.

The all-Airbus operator is now looking at least two split its fleet composition between the European and the American camp. The CEO stated the airline has the possibility to order 50 more new jets. 

The airline is based at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport with a monogamous fleet consisting of 22 Airbus family aircraft.

The low-cost carrier has an ambitious goal of achieving 100 planes by the end of this decade (2030). The airline is not certain from which manufacturer they are going to order, but options currently remain open. 

The decision could be finalized as soon as next year stated Con Korfiatis.

As of this moment, the airline looking largely into single-aisle planes such as Airbus A321neos and A321LRS or Boeing 737MAXs. 

The airline CEO said: “When we’re ready to, and we know what we want to do beyond the current order book, we will go out with a campaign again, and let’s see where it takes us.”

Back in 2018, the airline made headlines by originally opting for the 737 MAX 8. Flyadeal initially ordered  30 jets with options for 20 more in a deal valued at approximately $5.9 billion.

The low-cost carrier expects the MAX aircraft to lower its operational cost in a one-class all-economy cabin configuration. This would help the airline reduce its operating cost per seat by 8%. 

Currently, the A320NEO family is still the airline’s favorite as the airline’s current order book of 30 A320NEO will cover the airline’s expansion plans at least into 2025.

The order was announced at the 2019 Paris Airshow, with deliveries beginning last year until 2025. The current project to procure an extra 50 jets is to cover the last remaining phases of growth until 2030. 

The CEO said: “We’ve got an order book going all the way to 2025, so we’re looking at what we’re going to go beyond,” he said at the aerospace summit at Emirates Palace.

“We will need more aircraft, it’s just a matter of how many more and when we want them so that analysis is going on right now.

“A larger narrow-body would make sense for us — there’s space in our fleet for an A321-type aircraft. We’ve got 186 seats on an A320 and getting that up to 240 seats on an A321 reduces our seat cost further — and that means we can pass on more savings to our customers.”

With Airbus already in its logbooks, could the further 50 new orders be an Airbus after all? The CEO ruled out this possibility and is allowing OEMs to compete with each other. He stated that: 

“At whatever point we’ve got an idea of how many more aircraft and what size we want them to be, we will run a campaign,” he said. “It’s not necessarily more Airbus aircraft because with the fleet size we will have, we would already have economies of scale as a group.”

He added that: “So we would run a campaign and see how the OEMs present themselves.”

The MAX was canceled due to the grounding of the aircraft, but this is changing, and we could see a Flyadel fleet with a mixture of Boeings and Airbus in the near term. 

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