On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Directors of Al-Qahtani Aviation and the SaudiGulf Airlines Executive Management, I am pleased to announce the signing of a deal with Airbus for the acquisition of twenty A320neo/A321neo family aircraft, 10 firm and 10 options, worth more than two billion and one hundred million dollars ($ 2.1B) according to Airbus 2018 list prices.
The deal follows the decision of the Board of Directors to introduce this type of aircraft to the fleet of SaudiGulf Airlines, at the rate of six to eight aircraft annually from the second half of 2019. The airline will initially contract with aircraft leasing companies for the provision of brand new production aircraft from the manufacturer, in SaudiGulf Airlines specification, for up to twenty aircraft during the next three years, followed by the start of the delivery of the contracted aircraft above from Airbus directly.
SaudiGulf Airlines commenced scheduled commercial operations in Saudi Arabia with four new Airbus A320 aircraft in October 2016, from its base at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam to Riyadh, Jeddah and Abha. Earlier this year, international flights were started by operating two flights per day between Riyadh and Dubai. Two additional aircraft have recently been added to the company’s fleet to start the operation to four points in Pakistan, namely; Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Sialkot from Dammam.
SaudiGulf Airlines currently enjoys the highest ratings in terms of standards of service and punctuality. In 2017, it obtained IOSA certification, in global airline safety and security procedures and standards. The airline is currently a member of the Arab Air Transport Association (AACO) and it is the second airline in Saudi Arabia to become a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at the beginning of 2018.
I would like to take the opportunity extend our sincere thanks to General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia (GACA) for its continued support to SaudiGulf Airlines since it granted it the operating license (AOC) in 2016. This is a vivid demonstration of the wisdom and policy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, may God protect them and support them, in promoting the civil aviation sector for its important contribution in the achievement of the Saudi Arabia 2030 Vision.
In conclusion, I would also like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for his patronage of this important international exhibition in the air transport industry, as well as for the hospitality and appreciation we received from the organizers, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Tariq Abdul Hadi Al Qahtani
Chairman Al-Qahtani Aviation / SaudiGulf Airlines
15 November 2018