Saudia (SV, Jeddah) is mulling placing a "major" order for widebody aircraft in the coming six months, most likely either B787s or A350s, CEO Jaan Albrecht told Air Transport World.

Albrecht said that the carrier's existing fleet of thirty-five B777-300(ER)s covers its large widebody needs. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the carriers long-haul fleet also includes thirteen B787-9s and seven B747-400s wet-leased from Air Atlanta Icelandic. Saudia also operates five A330-200s, thirty-two A330-300s (including twenty Regional type), and eight B777-200(ER)s, although these aircraft are operated predominantly regionally.

Albrecht added that Saudia was considering launching new routes to the United States, on top of its existing services to Los Angeles Int'l, New York JFK, and Washington Dulles. Among the potential new destinations are Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson and Detroit Metropolitan, bases of Saudia's Skyteam partner Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson).

The airline is also due to add the first three B787-10s in 2019 and a further seven units of the type in 2020.

Albrecht also said that Saudia converted its entire order for thirty-five A320-200neo from lessors to A321-200neo, of which fifteen will be in the LR variant. This type will allow the airline to reach all of Europe, including destinations in Spain, and will be equipped with lie-flat business class seats.

Last year, airline general director Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser said that Saudia will start taking A320neo in 2019 already. However, ATW has now reported that the deliveries of the A321neo will not commence before 2021.