Saudi based National Air Services (NAS), recently announced expansion plans to add some 120 new aircraft to its fleet over the next five years.
NAS chairman, Ayed Al Jeaid, said the mega investment, which is expected to spill over $4 billion, is part of NAS’ strategy to diversify and integrate its strategic business units while entering new markets for its private and commercial services across the region.
“This year, NAS finalised five of the biggest aircraft acquisition deals to be announced by a private company in the history of Middle East aviation,” said Al Jeaid.
NAS President, Taher Agueel said his company is reviewing proposals from local banks and international financial firms to finance its acquisition plans.
NAS CEO, Ed Winter, commented that a combination of strong economic conditions, increased travel needs and the liberalisation of many of the region’s aviation sectors will lead to a phenomenal boom in the regional travel market. “This creates a healthy environment with many attractive investment opportunities,” said Winter.
Coinciding with the first day of the Dubai Airshow 2007, NAS confirmed its biggest agreements with the giant aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, for the purchase of 38 Airbus A320 family aircraft with an estimated value exceeding US$2.2 billion.
Since its launch last February Nas Air carried half a million passengers inside Saudi Arabia, a number which is expected to triple by the end of 2008. The budget carrier plans to break the five million passenger record by the end of the fifth year of operation, 2012.