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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

SaudiGulf airlines and Airbus sign $1.1bn deal for 10 A320 Neo planes

Saudi carrier signs accord at the Bahrain International Airshow

Airbus signs a $1.1 billion agreement with SaudiGulf for 10 A320Neo jets. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo
Airbus signs a $1.1 billion agreement with SaudiGulf for 10 A320Neo jets. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

Al Qahtani Aviation, owner of Saudi Arabia's youngest carrier SaudiGulf, signed an agreement with Airbus to buy 10 A320 Neo family jets.

Dammam-based SaudiGulf will begin taking delivery of the jets starting in 2019 through to 2022, it said on its Twitter account. The deal is valued at about $1.1 billion at list prices though customers usually get discounts.

The order "will contribute significantly to our network expansion in the region as well as internationally,” Samer Majali, president and chief executive of SaudiGulf, said. "This order will be complemented with additional A320neo aircraft from the leasing market.”

The carrier signed the accord on Thursday during the Bahrain International Show taking place November 14 to November 16. The deal will add to SaudiGulf's fleet of six earlier-generation A320 jets.

A spokeswoman for the Toulouse-based planemaker said the accord with SaudiGulf is a new commitment and not part of earlier A320 Neo accord from an undisclosed customer that Airbus announced during the Farnborough airshow in July.

SaudiGulf began operations in 2016, initially serving domestic routes before expanding internationally with services to Dubai and four destinations in Pakistan. In May last year, the closely-held carrier signed a preliminary agreement for 16 Boeing planes during US president Donald Trump's visit to the kingdom.

The carrier competes with national flag carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Saudia as it's known, and discount carrier Flynas in the kingdom's lucrative aviation market of 32 million people.