Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) will acquire 63 aircraft as part of a fleet modernization program, a top executive was quoted as saying by Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The airline will acquire 15 Boeing B777-300ER, 13 Boeing B787 Dreamliners and 35 Airbus A320 and A321-neo, said Director General Saleh bin Nasser al-Jasser.
Saudi Arabia’s air travel industry is benefiting from strong population growth and rising incomes since the country announced in 2012 that it would liberalize its domestic aviation market.
At present the state-owned carrier’s only domestic competitor is budget carrier flynas.
In 2015 Saudia said it would raise the number of its planes to 200 from 119 and add new international and domestic routes.
Meanwhile, tourism in Saudi Arabia continues to grow year-on-year, with the kingdom requiring 8,000 tourist guides by 2030, a member of the Saudi Society for Tourist Guides (SSTG) has revealed.
According to Ahmed Al-Jaid, the current number of tourist guides in Saudi Arabia is around 500, said a report in Arab News. However, there is a need for more licensed tourist guides, including mutawif (pilgrim guides).
Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), said in an article: “The transformation in the tourism sector has become easier and more acceptable than before, and the reason for this is the existence of a real tourist sector and of an enormous market for tourism.”
Prince Sultan said: “We hope that tourism will be the leader of the new economy ... as King Salman wants to develop tourism and the heritage sector,” Prince Sultan added.