Flynas to Decide `Very Soon' on Order at Airbus or Boeing

  • Budget carrier evaluating purchase of A320neo, 737 Max models
  • Planes to replace leased A320s, add to fleet for expansion

Saudi Arabian low-cost airline Flynas expects to decide “very soon” on an order for as many as 100 planes from either Airbus Group SE or Boeing Co. that it previously targeted for mid-2016.

The carrier will communicate a decision to the planemakers “within the next few days or weeks,” Flynas Chief Executive Officer Paul Byrne said in a phone interview. The Riyadh-based company is targeting its second consecutive full-year profit, with final performance depending on traffic generated by Muslims flying to Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage and a boost from recent Saudi school vacations, among other elements, Byrne said.

The closely held airline, which began flying in 2007, posted its first profit last year. Flynas has been considering an order for 60 single-aisle planes and options for 40 more in a fleet replacement and expansion drive, and is looking at Airbus’s A320neo model and Boeing’s 737 Max. Byrne said in April that Flynas was likely to decide on a purchase by June. The budget carrier, seeking to grow amid intensifying competition in a domestic market of about 30 million people, currently operates 31 Airbus A320s whose leases expire in six years.

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