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Saudi Arabian airlines take delivery of its first Airbus A330
The airline cites rising passenger demand as it receives the first of eight Airbus A330s ordered in 2008.
May 18, 2010 4:08 by Rasha Reslan
Top aviation authority officials and executives of international airlines were present in large numbers to accord a warm welcome to Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first long range Airbus aircraft A330 when it landed at King Abdulaziz International Airport shortly after 9 p.m. on Monday.
The aircraft arrived without commercial passengers.
Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General Khaled Al-Molhem said, “We are delighted to receive the first of eight A 330 aircraft that we have ordered at a time when passenger demand is rising.” The Saudi national carrier will operate the aircraft type on both domestic and international routes as and when the carrier takes delivery of the remaining aircraft in the family.
The aircraft had been formally delivered at a ceremony in Toulouse attended by Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, deputy director general of the airline, and Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy.
The Rolls Royce-powered A330-300 is the first to be delivered from an order for eight aircraft signed in July 2008. The delivery takes the number of customers and operators of the world’s most popular twin aisle medium- to long-haul aircraft to 140. “With unbeatable economics and passenger comfort, the A330 is the ideal aircraft for us. Together with our new Airbus A320s, our A330s will allow us to get the maximum efficiency from flying two aircraft families which share common controls and maintenance,” Al-Molhem said.
“It is a remarkable achievement that the Airbus A330 has become essential to Saudi Arabian Airlines’ fleet modernization. The A330 is today’s leading medium- to long-range twin-aisle aircraft, with market leading productivity and proven reliability. The aircraft will also meet the most demanding passenger comfort expectations,” Leahy said at the Toulouse ceremony.
The Airbus A330 remains the most economic means of flying some 300 passengers on medium-range routes in true long-haul comfort. As well as offering unbeatable operating economics and productivity, the A330 is also one of the world’s most fuel-efficient aircraft.