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Wed 8 Apr 2009 12:22 PM

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Saudia signs $900m deal to power fleet of planes

Saudi carrier announces agreement with Rolls Royce to fit engines in its A330 aircraft.

Saudi Arabian Airlines has signed a $900m deal to fit its fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft with Rolls Royce engines.

Announcing the deal on Wednesday, Rolls Royce said Saudia had ordered Trent engines with reduced fuel burn and emissions to power eight aircraft. Saudia, which expects engine deliveries to start next year, has options for a further four.

A long-term service agreement, in which Rolls Royce will provide maintenance services for the engines, has also been agreed.

Phil Harris, Rolls Royce senior vice president of airlines for North Asia and the Middle East, said the deal continues the company’s strong relationship with Saudia.

During the past three years, Rolls Royce has claimed 70 percent market share for A330s, with eight of the nine aircraft operators in the Middle East ordering Trent 700 engines to power their fleets.

The engines can withstand hot and high altitudes and locations, making them suitable for Middle East operators, according to Rolls Royce.

“Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines have an excellent reputation and we are pleased to bring them onto our new fleet,” said Ali Milaat, managing director for Saudia’s technical services strategic business unit.

“Maintaining efficiency and performance in a highly competitive market is vitally important and Rolls Royce technology and ‘totalcare’ service will enable us to reach our targets.”

Among Saudia’s fleet, 14 aircraft are powered by Rolls Royce engines including Boeing 747-100s, 200s and SPs.

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