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Saudia Private Aviation to receive two Dassault BizJets

Saudia Private Aviation to receive two Dassault BizJets next year, looking to acquire ACJs or BBJs

Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), the private aviation unit of Saudi Airlines, is set to acquire two Falcon 7X business jets from Dassault in 2011, according to two industry sources. The approximate valuation of the aircraft is USD 50m, one of the sources said.

Local Saudi banks are financing the deal and Lufthansa Consulting is acting as adviser, the same source said.

SPA is also in the process of negotiating with a few “market leaders” with a view to acquiring midsize executive jets and corporate airline jets, such as ACJs or BBJs.

Dassault has already delivered two Falcon 7Xs to SPA earlier this year, both industry sources confirmed

The Middle Eastern market is of growing interest to the French aerospace giant. Dassault Falcon sold 14 aircraft in the Middle East in the last two years and has a backlog of 15 additional aircraft to be delivered to regional buyers by 2013.

The firm’s current regional fleet size is about 60 business jets, which is expected to grow by one third over the next three years, according to a recent company press release. Some 40% of its new business jet sales are coming from the Falcon 7X and Dassault will deliver its tenth Falcon 7X to the Middle East before the end of 2010.

In keeping with its Middle Eastern growth plans, Dassault has opened a new regional sales office in Dubai, as well as a second ‘authorised service centre’ in Saudi Arabia.

Dassault’s military heritage and “established reputation” through its Mirage fighter jets which are operated in GCC countries gives the group an advantage in the region, according to John Rosanvallon, CEO of Dassault Falcon. “Western economies are still struggling to recover but other regions are active including India, South America, Asia and the Middle East,” he said.