DUBAI - Saudia Group, which owns the Saudia airline and budget carrier flyadeal, is close to agreement on an order for 100 narrow-body jets but wants the manufacturer to agree to supply an additional 50-plus, it said on Tuesday.
Abdullah Al Shahrani, the group's general manager of communications and media affairs, declined to identify the aircraft manufacturer but said that supply chain issues were part of the reason it had not agreed to more than 100 jets.
"We insist on having more than 150," Al Shahrani said in an interview at the Dubai Airshow. "We are waiting for confirmation from the manufacturer that they are able to produce more than 150."
Saudia Group plans to announce the order before the end of the year, Al Shahrani said, adding that the aircraft would be for its Saudia airline and low-cost carrier flyadeal.
Both airlines use planes from the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. Flyadeal decided against going ahead with a commitment to purchase Boeing 737 MAX jets in 2019.
New Saudi carrier Riyadh Air has also teased a "sizeable" order of narrow-body aircraft in the coming weeks but has also declined to name the manufacturer.
State-owned Saudia is planning rapid expansion over the next seven years as part of Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman's Vision 2030 plan to wean the kingdom off its oil dependence.
Though the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has resulted in flight cancellations across the Middle East, Al Shahrani said it has not affected Saudia and the airline was not worried about any future impact on the business.
(Reporting by Pesha Magid Editing by David Goodman)