Dammam - SaudiGulf Airlines is in talks with Boeing for buying some widebody aircraft to start long-haul operations. The negotiations are focused on a combination of B777 and B787.

Dammam-based Saudi carrier had signed a preliminary agreement with the US aircraft manufacturer during President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in May last year.

The talks have focused on B787-9, and -10s as well as older B777-200 and -300s, Chief Commercial Officer Karim Makhlouf told Reuters.

We will start long-haul operations eventually, but the primary goal is to acquire the aircraft that help us add capacity in slot-restricted airports. Plus, we need an aircraft with very low seat-mile costs,
President and CEO Samer Majali said.

Majali stated that the B787-10 would be an excellent contender to Saudia's A330-300s which are currently deployed on short-haul, high-density routes.

SaudiGulf is also in touch with Airbus and Boeing over a narrowbody order for up to 30 aircraft. There is no any comment from the airline management on the status of 16 CS300 ordered from Bombardier by the parent company Al Qahtani Aviation.

According to ch-aviation data, SaudiGulf Airlines currently operates four A320-200 on flights from Dammam to Riyadh, Jeddah, and Abha domestically. On March 1st, the airline will make its first international appearance with a scheduled flight to Dubai.

Later this year, the Saudi low-cost will add to its fleet two more A320 family aircraft, either A320 or A321, which will be deployed on routes to Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, and Sialkot in Pakistan.

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