Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), who signed a SR12-billion deal for the purchase of 12 super-efficient Boeing 787 airplanes to modernize its fleet, will reduce its fuel costs by 20% as the new version aircraft are highly fuel-efficient.
"All airlines, including Saudia, who ordered the new version Boeing 787, will save 20% in terms of fuel consumption alone," said Ahmed A. Jazzar, President of Boeing Saudi Arabia. Jazzar, who is also Vice President of Boeing International, said that high oil prices have created a lot of problems for the airline industry including route cancellations in the US, Europe, or even Asia.
Jazzar pointed out that the Boeing 787 is a long range, mid-sized, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing. Its body, he added, will not face corrosion or rust. He added that Boeing 787 is currently undergoing flight testing with a goal of receiving its type certificate in late 2010.
As for the trends of aviation industry in the Middle East, Jazzar said that airliners in the region will require more than 2,340 aircraft during the next 20 years. "The total cost for purchasing these planes for flying in the Middle East will exceed $390 billion".
Referring to the relation of Boeing with Saudi Arabia, he said: "Boeing has been in Saudi Arabia for the last 65 years with its first Boeing DC3 plane that was used by late King Abdul Aziz." Boeing, he said, was also working with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) within the framework of the KAUST's industrial collaboration program.
"We are also working with the Riyadh-based King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Al Faisal University in Riyadh", he added. "Boeing has also planned to build an institute to teach aviation and aircraft maintenance skills to Saudi students in cooperation with TVTC," said Jazzar, adding that a MoU has already been signed in this regard.
About the Kingdom's possible acquisition of 84 Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle jet fighters, Jazzar said that he cannot comment on the report published in the Wall Street Journal. He, however, said that these kinds of deals are done on a government level and that "the backbone of the Royal Saudi Air Force is the F-15 aircraft" built by Boeing.