Saudi airline eyes US, Canada after 777 delivery
Saudi Arabia's national carrier is planning to launch services to Los Angeles and Toronto on the back of receiving a 777-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft from US plane maker Boeing.
The airplane, the first of its type to be fitted with a three-class cabin configuration for Saudia, was delivered to the airline at a ceremony in Washington.
Saudia currently has a backlog of 21 Boeing airplanes on order, including 13 777s and eight 787 Dreamliners.
"This latest addition to our fleet will feature our distinctive First, Business and Guest class cabins, allowing us to offer a full range of services tailored to our passengers' specific needs," said Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, deputy director general, Saudia.
"The Boeing 777-300ER, with its unrivalled fuel efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort, will form the backbone of our long-haul fleet, allowing Saudia to launch direct flights to Los Angeles and Toronto."
The Boeing 777-300ER is the largest long-range twin-engine commercial airplane in the world. It carries 386 passengers up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,450km).
"Boeing and Saudia share a uniquely historical relationship. Today, we're proud of the pivotal role the Boeing 777 will play in Saudia's ambitious expansion plans," said Marty Bentrott, vice president - Sales, Middle East, Russia & Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The Saudi airline, which took delivery of its first 777 in December 1997 and owns and operates 29 Boeing models, currently flies to New York and Washington on the American continent.