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Future Aviation Forum opening day sees 47 deals worth $19b announced

Saudia Airlines agreement to purchase 105 narrowbody aircraft from Airbus headlined the announcements

Forty-seven deals with a value of $19 billion were announced on an action-packed opening day of the 2024 Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, including national air service agreements, aircraft orders, cargo and logistics, advanced air mobility, human capability, information technology, and maintenance, repair and overhaul agreements.

Saudia Airlines announcement to purchase 105 Airbus A320-Neo and A321-Neo aircraft set the stage alight on the first morning, as more than 5,000 attendees from 100 countries assembled in the Saudi capital.

The host, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation signed Air Service Agreements with Mozambique and the Kingdom of Eswatini, with further agreements signed with Cambodia and Brunei Darussalam.

GACA also launched its inaugural State of Aviation report, finding the Saudi aviation sector made a $53 billion contribution to the Saudi economy and supported around 958,000 jobs across the country.

The regulator also used the forum to release its General Aviation Roadmap to develop Saudi Arabia’s business jet and private industry tenfold to $2 billion by 2030, with six dedicated general aviation airports and nine terminals – forecast to create 35,000 new jobs.

Saleh Al Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics, stated: “Saudi Arabia is enabling huge opportunities for the private sector and creating thousands of jobs for Saudi Arabia’s people.

“This Forum is bringing together the top leaders and brightest minds from the global aviation sector to collaborate and develop innovative solutions that will drive the sector into the future.”

HE Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, GACA President said: “The first day of the Future Aviation Forum has been a tremendous success, in terms of commercial deals, policy initiatives, and agreements to elevate global connectivity.

“Today’s announcements are a clear vote of confidence in the growth and investment opportunities being created across the Saudi aviation sector, and in Saudi Arabia’s global aviation leadership.”

Speakers on Day One included the Saudi Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed Al Khateeb, Transport Ministers from Malaysia, Lithuania, Tunisia, Saudi Space Agency CEO Mohammed Altamimi, Human Capability Program CEO Anas AlMudaifer, executives from Airports Council International, Saudia, Riyadh Air, Airbus, Boeing, Wizz Air, Seattle Airport, King Salman International Airport, Fraport AG, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Oman Airports, Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, Gensler, Munich Airport, Toronto Airports Authority, Luton Airport, The International Air Cargo Association, SAL Logistics Services, Groupe ADP, Swissport, Global Express Association, DNata, and Etihad Airways.