For an airline that started in the business in 2016, news of an order for 16 777s is eye-popping.  What do we know about this airline?  Currently, it operates four A320s seating 186 – an LOPA.  To move from four A320s to 16 777s, even by 2020?  Moreover, the airline has 16 CS300s on order as well, the first of which might be delivered later this year.

SaudiGulf is owned by the Al Qahtani Group, a private company with a myriad of commercial interests.  Intriguingly, the airline is not listed among these interests.  But its travel agency is.

Even if the airline has the capital to deploy, how fast can it grow?   The region’s other big airlines have slowed their growth.  They are unlikely to be willing to accommodate an ambitious rival following the same strategy they did a few years back.  This is something to watch.



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