Airbus Middle East increases regional presence with Saudi opening
New dedicated base to be headed up by Ali A. Milaat
Airbus continues to increase its operations in the Middle East through the opening of its latest base in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The office will be led by Saudi market veteran, Ali A. Milaat, previously an executive of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Ali A. Milaat brings more than 30 years of experience from the Saudi Arabian aviation industry. Most recently, in his role of managing director of the Technical Services Business Unit at Saudi Arabian Airlines, Milaat was responsible for the aircraft maintenance sectors of the business, working across 25 countries. He also held the position of CEO of Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries, the soon to be privatised MRO operation of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Airbus’ history in Saudi dates back to 1983, when an order from the Kingdom’s first airline, Saudia, launched the A300-600. The Saudia fleet now includes A321s, A321s and A330s, and by 2014 the airline will be flying 62 Airbus aircraft. In addition, Nas Air’s fleet is made up primarily from A320s, currently flying eight, with a further 20 on order.
“The opening of our dedicated Saudi operations is indicative of the continual growth of this market and we are delighted to welcome Ali Milaat to the team,” said Fouad Attar, managing director, Airbus Middle East. “The most recent Airbus Global Market Forecast highlighted the strength of the Middle East market, the total passenger fleet of airlines domiciled in the Middle East will grow by 1,906 new passenger aircraft deliveries by the end of 2031 representing seven per cent of total global deliveries.
“With this demand comes a need for new talent and Airbus has established collaborations with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation (SACA) and leading educational institutions in the country, with the view to nurture and develop the next generation of aviation experts in Saudi.”