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Airbus to expand Saudi Arabian operation

By 2014, Saudi Arabian Airlines will be flying 62 aircraft. (Image source: Ariel da Silva Parreira/

Airbus has announced it will increase its operations in the Middle East by opening a new base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Ali Milaat, a former executive of Saudi Arabian Airlines, will head the operation, which will also see increased collaboration with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation (SACA).

"With this demand comes a need for new talent and Airbus has established collaborations with SACA and leading educational institutions in the country, to develop the next generation of aviation experts," said Fouad Attar, managing director of Airbus Middle East.

"This is indicative of the continual growth of this market and we are delighted to welcome Ali Milaat to the team."

Since purchasing its first aircraft in 1983, Saudi Arabian Airlines fleet now includes A321s, A321s and A330s, and according to the airline, by 2014 will be flying 62 Airbus aircraft.

"The recent Airbus Global Market Forecast highlighted the strength of the Middle East market, its total passenger fleet will grow by 1,906 and the aircraft deliveries by the end of 2031 will represent seven per cent of total global deliveries," Attar added.