Saudia Chief Al-Shibl: Saudi Arabian Airlines is Seeking to Become the Largest Carrier in the Middle East

Saudi Arabian Airlines is seeking to once again become the largest carrier in the Middle East and efforts are underway toward achieving this goal, Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl, chairman of the board of Saudia told Asharq Alawsat around the U.S.-Saudi Arabia CEO Summit. Al-Shibl said that Saudia has reached a deal that will see the state-owned airline purchase 30 new Airbus and Boeing planes that will be delivered in 2017, according to the London-based Asharq Alawsat. This is part of a plan to expand the fleet from 128 planes to 200 by 2020, Al-Shibl said.

Saudi Airlines transported 30 million passengers in 2016 “and aspires to transport 45 million by 2020, meaning a growth of 50 percent, which is not an easy feat,” Al-Shibl said.

Transportation was one of the sectors in focus at the recent U.S.-Saudi CEO Summit, organized and hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Saudi Committee for International Trade (CIT) and the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce on Wednesday.