July 13, 2024

COMAC Eyes Middle Eastern Dream with Saudia’s Jet Assembly Line Offer in Jeddah

Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Group has proposed an enticing opportunity for China’s Comac to establish a jet assembly line in Jeddah, reflecting the strengthening Saudi-China relations and Saudi Arabia’s ambition to boost its manufacturing sector.

Image Source: awsat.com

In a bid to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s manufacturing industry and aviation sector, Saudia Group has invited Shanghai-based aircraft manufacturer COMAC to set up an assembly line for its jets in Jeddah. This proposal is part of the kingdom’s broader strategy to diversify its economy and foster international partnerships. Saudia, the national airline, is currently in discussions with COMAC to understand the specifics and capabilities of the C919 narrow-body jet. These talks include plans for Saudia representatives to visit COMAC’s Shanghai factory later this year.

Abdullah Alshahrani, Saudia’s spokesperson, revealed these developments at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. Earlier this week, COMAC’s chairman He Dongfeng toured Saudia Group’s facilities in Jeddah, including the expansive Saudia Technic’s MRO Village, which is slated for completion in 2025. This facility is expected to become a hub for global aerospace manufacturing operations.Mr. Alshahrani highlighted that the potential establishment of COMAC’s presence in the Middle East could diversify the company’s manufacturing base and capitalize on the region’s booming aviation market. This follows a high-profile visit by a Saudi civil aviation delegation to COMAC’s Shanghai headquarters in February, which included a tour of their C919 and ARJ21 assembly lines.Saudi Arabia is intent on expanding its manufacturing sector to reduce reliance on oil, create job opportunities, and attract foreign investment. By collaborating with international companies like COMAC, Saudi Arabia aims to enhance its technical expertise, develop local skills, and establish significant production sites within the kingdom.

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