Saudia Group keen to offer MRO services for Indian airlines

The Saudia Group is eager to increase the number of flights between Saudi Arabia and India and provide MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) services to Indian carriers. Saudia Airlines, a part of the group, currently operates 54 weekly flights connecting seven Indian destinations, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.

At the CAPA India Aviation Summit 2024, Saudia Group’s Director General, Ibrahim Alomari, emphasized the group’s goal to boost flight frequencies and encourage collaboration between Indian and Saudi airlines.

Last year, around 1.5 million Indian tourists visited Saudi Arabia, and this number is expected to rise to 7.5 million by 2030, according to Alomari.

The group will launch its second airline, Riyadh Air, next year, with its hub in Riyadh, while Saudia Airlines will continue operating from Jeddah. Once fully operational next year, the Saudia Technic’s MRO Village will be the largest MRO facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, spanning over 1 million square meters and featuring multiple hangars and engine and component shops.

The MRO Village is expected to soon become an Airbus-authorized maintenance center for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. It will also serve as a maintenance center for Boeing 787 aircraft and CFM LEAP engines. Air India’s fleet includes both the A320 family and Boeing 787 aircraft, while IndiGo’s jet aircraft fleet consists almost entirely of the A320 family. Both airlines placed large aircraft orders last year.

Saudia Group keen to offer MRO services for Indian airlines

Saudia Group executives noted a “leakage” of around 25% in air traffic between Saudi Arabia and India, meaning that 25% of passengers traveling between the two countries are doing so via a third country. The Group believes that Indian and Saudi Arabian airlines should collaborate to minimize this leakage and launch more direct services from more airports.

Currently, Indian carriers use European MRO facilities, but they can consider Saudi Arabia for these services.

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