The Saudi private airline National Air Services (NAS) has signed a preliminary agreement to buy 20 Dassault Aviation Falcon 2000LX business class aircraft, the French aerospace company announced in a press release yesterday.
The agreement, which involves a firm order for four Falcons plus an option for 16 more, is expected to be finalized this summer.
The purchase, worth an estimated $500 million, is one of the largest of business jets in the region. Delivery of the aircraft should begin in the third quarter of 2008 and continue over the next six years.
“We are very proud to have been chosen by NAS, the leading provider of aviation services in the Middle East, and are confident that this addition to their current fleet will help them meet the growing demand for private aviation in the region,” John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon, said in the press release.
The new Falcon 2000LX can climb to 41,000 feet in 18 minutes and has a range of 4,000 nautical miles at Mach .80. It will be able to connect Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh with London and combine multiple-city trips in the region on the same day.
The Riyadh-based NAS is the only licensed private aircraft operator in Saudi Arabia. It offers two commercial services: the Al Khayala business class service between Riyadh and Jeddah as well as Dubai, and the nas air budget carrier that links cities in the Kingdom.