In a ceremony here yesterday, trimmed with a touch of Middle East elegance, Dassault Falcon turned over its 75th Falcon 7X long-range business jet to Saudia Private Aviation, the charter arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Saudia Private Aviation accepted the big trijet as evidence of its intention to expand well beyond the current fleet of a single Falcon 900 and a half-dozen Hawker 400s flown for shorter missions. With the addition of the 7X, the Jeddah-based carrier can offer nonstop luxury travel from Saudi Arabia to destinations as far away as New York City.
The aircraft delivered yesterday is the first of four Falcon 7Xs destined for the Part 135 Saudia fleet. A second is due this month, a third in November and the fourth in May next year. Saudia Private Aviation also holds options for three more.
Basing the fleet in Jeddah makes sense, said Ahmed Mufty, a Saudi Arabian Airlines check pilot, who also acted as the Falcon 7X program manager. “It’s a matter of putting the airplanes where the business is located,” he told AIN, adding that Saudia Private Aviation hopes to have a total of 20 aircraft in service by 2020 and expects at some point to expand service into the nearby United Arab Emirates.
The chic yet simple interior of new Saudia Private Aviation Falcon 7X was built and installed by Jet Aviation at its Basel facilities.