Airbus continues to increase its operations in the Middle East through the opening of its latest base in Jeddah.
The office will be led by Saudi market veteran, Ali A Milaat, previously an executive of Saudi Arabian Airlines, said a report in the Gulf Daily News.
Milaat brings more than 30 years of experience from the Saudi Arabian aviation industry.
Most recently, in his role as Managing Director of the Technical Services Business Unit at Saudi Arabian Airlines, Milaat was responsible for aircraft maintenance sectors of the business, working across 25 countries.
He also held the position of Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries chief executive, the soon-to-be-privatized Maintenance and Repair Operations of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Airbus' history in Saudi dates back to 1983, when an order from the Kingdom's first airline, Saudia, launched the A300-600.
The Saudia fleet now includes A321s and A330s, and by 2014 the airline will be flying 62 Airbus aircraft.
“The opening of our dedicated Saudi operations is indicative of the continued growth of this market and we are delighted to welcome Ali Milaat to the team,” said Airbus Middle East Managing Director Fouad Attar.
“The most recent Airbus Global Market Forecast highlighted the strength of the Middle East market, the total passenger fleet of airlines domiciled in the Middle East will grow by 1,906 new passenger aircraft deliveries by the end of 2031 representing 7% of total global deliveries.”
“With this demand comes a need for new talent and Airbus has established collaborations with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation and leading educational institutions in the country, with a view to develop the next generation of aviation experts in Saudi,” he added.