Saudi Carriers Increase Fleet of Narrow-body Aircraft to Expand Regional Flights

A Saudi Arabian Airlines A320 aircraft (SPA)
A Saudi Arabian Airlines A320 aircraft (SPA)
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Saudi Carriers Increase Fleet of Narrow-body Aircraft to Expand Regional Flights

A Saudi Arabian Airlines A320 aircraft (SPA)
A Saudi Arabian Airlines A320 aircraft (SPA)

Saudi air carriers are moving to increase their fleet of narrow-body aircraft to expand short-distance regional flights, due to high demand.

This move comes within the framework of the national civil aviation strategy, which aims to reach 330 million passengers and 100 million tourists, while increasing the number of international destinations linked to the Kingdom to more than 250, by 2030.

Narrow-body or single-aisle aircraft are designated for nearby destinations, as they fly for a period ranging between 4 and 6 hours and carry up to 250 passengers.

Some of the most popular manufacturers of single-aisle aircraft are Boeing, Airbus, De Havilland, Tupolev and McDonnell Douglas.

Riyadh Air, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), intends to conclude a deal to purchase a large number of narrow-body aircraft, according to the company’s CEO Tony Douglas.

Douglas revealed that the company will operate a fleet of 200 aircraft to serve more than 110 destinations by 2030.

For his part, Assistant General Manager for Fleet Management at the Saudi Arabian Airlines Group, Saleh Eid, announced on Monday the signing of the largest aircraft deal in the company’s history to purchase more than 150 narrow-body aircraft before the end of 2023.

Flynas, the Saudi economic air carrier, recently received five new A320neo aircraft of this type, raising the size of its fleet to 56 aircraft, and bringing the number of narrow-body aircraft it received during 2023 to 11 out of a total of 19 aircraft that are scheduled to be delivered later this year.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, experts said that increasing the fleet of narrow-body aircraft serves the Kingdom, given its geographical location and that the connection with many international airports in less than seven hours.

They added that this move will achieve the Kingdom’s goals of reaching 100 million visitors in 2030, and expanding air connectivity with various countries of the world.



Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Asharq Al-Awsat
The Saudi flag. Asharq Al-Awsat
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Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Asharq Al-Awsat
The Saudi flag. Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) and Ministry of Energy (MoEnergy), in collaboration with UpLink, have launched the Carbon Capture and Utilization Challenge which seeks innovative solutions that accelerate the circular carbon economy.

The challenge was launched during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in a main session titled ‘SDG 13 and Interlinkages with Other SDGs – Climate Action’ held on July 10.

The challenge encourages startups to submit distinct solutions that drive carbon reductions through sustainable systems transformation, including carbon capture technologies, novel carbon utilization applications, and industrial integration.

The initiative emphasizes the importance of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), highlighting the crucial role innovation plays in driving a sustainable and economically prosperous future and the important role of carbon removal in reaching net-zero goals by mid-century.

“The climate change issue and sustainability is a global issue,” Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. “It cannot be attended to in regional scopes or as a smaller territorial thing. It has to be global.”

He stated that the Kingdom seeks to enhance its efforts to achieve its ambitious goal of reaching net zero by 2060 through the Circular Carbon Economy Framework, which not only reduces the impact of carbon emissions, but also values carbon as a resource with real economic value, rather than pollutant.

He also indicated that the Kingdom, in line with this vision, and in order to exploit the economic value of carbon worldwide, has launched, in partnership with leading organizations, a global carbon capture and utilization challenge.

The Minister stressed that Saudi Arabia, by adopting such challenge, is leading influential changes in efforts to confront climate change, as this challenge represents an opportunity for individuals and organizations to transform tomorrow’s challenges into today’s solutions, through joint efforts and pioneering innovations.

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim said: “The Kingdom is keen on a just, orderly, and pragmatic energy transition and is working towards the advancement of the circular carbon economy framework.”

“Through this challenge, related to innovation inside the circular carbon economy, we look forward to seeing new solutions that would help push innovation forward,” he said.

He encouraged all innovators and companies to come up with “out-of-the-box solutions.”

Submissions will be evaluated on factors such as scalability, commercial viability, technological readiness, and fundraising success.

Winners will be recognized as top innovators and form part of the UpLink Innovation Ecosystem, a curated program for founders, CEOs, executive directors, and other leaders. They will also share a cash award of up to CHF 300,000 and receive technical, business, and operational support to scale their ideas.