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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Embraer wins $400m Saudi jet deal
Saudi Arabian Airlines plane
The carrier will use the jets on domestic and regional routes
Saudi Arabian Airlines is buying 15 aircraft made by Brazilian plane maker Embraer in a deal worth $400m (209m).

The 66-seater Embraer 170 aircraft will deployed on domestic and regional flights, Saudi Arabian Airlines said.

The planes were the first ordered by the airline since it bought 61 Boeing and McDonnell Douglas planes 10 years ago for delivery between 1997 and 2001.

The deal comes as the state-owned firm, with a fleet of 139 planes, is being lined up for a privatisation.

Growing competition

Saudi Arabian Airlines, which self-financed the purchase, is also facing the loss of its monopoly on domestic routes.

Analysts say many of its older planes are unsuited for short-haul flights.

"By right-sizing our fleet with the Embraer 170, we are aiming at better serving our domestic and regional markets," said Khaled Ben-Bakr, the airline's director general.

Embraer is the world's fourth largest commercial aircraft maker and the leading manufacturer of jets of up to 110 seats.

Embraer lands $3bn jet order
10 Jun 03 |  Business

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