Saudi budget airline Flynas is in negotiations with both Boeing and its current supplier Airbus to buy aircraft worth $13 billion to $15 billion, Chief Executive Bander al-Mohanna told Al Arabiya in an interview published on Monday.
“The carrier has increased the number of planned new orders to 250 aircraft and also plans to increase the number of destinations to 165 from 70”, al-Mohanna was reported saying.
Bloomberg initially reported on the airline’s aims to accelerate expansion, which corresponds with Saudi Arabia’s goals to boost its aviation business and become a tourism destination.
Flynas, which is partly controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s investment organization, began operations as Nas Air in 2007 with an all-Airbus fleet.
In 2017, the Riyadh-based bargain carrier, which competes with the state-owned Saudi carrier Flyadeal, purchased 80 A320neo-family planes, with an option to purchase 40 more.
In November, the airline’s CEO stated that Flynas was in discussions to exercise some or all of the 40 options, and industry sources stated that an agreement had already been struck under which some of the extra planes would include the long-range A321XLR variant.
According to Airbus statistics, “Flynas operated a partly leased fleet of 39 Airbus planes as of the end of February, with another 76 still to be delivered by the manufacturer”.