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Saudi’s flynas starts renegotiating Airbus aircraft order

Flynas could increase its A320 order if it is allowed to take the newer neo models

The flynas pavilion at the Arabian Travel Market 2014
Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
The flynas pavilion at the Arabian Travel Market 2014. The carrier is constrained by a mandate todeclare a profit for the first time since launching in 2007.
Gulf News

Dubai: Saudi Arabian discount carrier flynas has entered into renegotiating talks on a deal for 20 A320s with aircraft manufacturer Airbus, its chief executive has said.

He added the he is interested in increasing the size of the A320.

Raja Azmi said he met with Airbus executives on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai to swap the A320 order and discuss a possible A350 order. He also met with Boeing executives to discuss the Boeing Dreamliner 787.

Flynas is set to take delivery of the older model A320s from 2015; however, Azmi is insisting on swapping the entire deal for the new, more efficient neo (new engine option) model.

“Yesterday we started discussions, so we are talking to both Boeing and Airbus during this time to look at all the possibilities. [We’re] still open in terms of [the aircraft type for] the long haul,” Azmi said on Tuesday.

The airline currently leases aircraft for its long-haul routes.

Since joining as chief executive in June, Azmi has made a list of changes including re-branding the airline, introducing business class and launching long-haul routes.

Bigger capacity

Azmi said the A350-1000 “would be ideal for us because they have a bigger capacity than the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and they can go far so we can fly to Jakarta [Indonesia] and the [United] States.”

He ruled out looking at the Boeing 777 model, which “are a bit pricey,” but said he is open to the Dreamliner.

Flynas’ buying power is constrained this year by a mandate to declare a profit for the first time since launching in 2007.

Azmi said he will take his time to gauge which long haul aircraft he will order. However, he admits he cannot take too long with delivery dates on new aircraft ordered today not expected until the end of the decade.

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