Kuwait City, Oct 4, 2009 - Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), Saudi Arabia’s national airline, took the first step in fleet modernization by taking delivery of its first A320 aircraft from Alafco Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO).

“ALAFCO is proud to provide the first of 13 A320 aircraft entering into Saudia service on operating lease.  ALAFCO has taken delivery of 10 A320 from Airbus so far in 2009”, said Ahmad Alzabin, ALAFCO Chairman and CEO.

“The Airbus A320 is the right aircraft for our ambitious fleet modernization plan.  The aircraft combines operational efficiency as well as cabin comfort for our customers, and will enable Saudia to meet the rising passenger demands and expectations”, said His Excellency Engineer Khalid Al Molhem, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines.  
Saudia’s A320 is the first to be equipped with high bandwidth in-flight entertainment system making it an option on all Airbus aircraft for the first time. 

This means that passengers can access high speed interactive services such as full audio and video on demand.  The A320 will be deployed on routes in the region, to Europe and to the Indian subcontinent, from Saudia’s hub in Riyadh.  Depending on the configuration, the A320s will seat between 120 and 132 passengers in two classes.  The aircraft are powered by CFM56 engines.

“Saudi Arabian Airlines becoming an operator of the A320 through its leased aircraft from ALAFCO underpins the A320 as the aircraft of choice not only with valued operators but also with leading lessors looking for attractive investment assets with strong residual values” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief operating officer, Customers,”
ALAFCO has its headquarters in Kuwait and is listed on the Kuwait stock exchange.  The company has 58 aircraft on order with Boeing and Airbus which include Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner, Airbus’ A350 XWB in addition to B737-800 and A320-200 aircraft.

Source: Press Release (ALAFCO)