SAEI seeks partner to bring its independent MRO dream to reality
The maintenance and engineering arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines will be seeking a third-party investor to act as a knowledge partner as it heads towards privatisation.
SAEI, is aiming to join the top tier of the region’s independent MRO providers following in the footsteps of ADAT, the Abu Dhabi based maintenance provider that traces its roots back to the days it was a Gulf Air subsidiary.
Abdullah Al-Ajhar, Saudi Arabian Airlines’ vice president for public relations said in Jeddah yesterday that the MRO division had gone a long way toward completing its privatization.
“We are now seeking a business partner for SAEI and have called for tenders from potential investors,” he said.
The successful bidder may be acting either alone or in a consortium with other investors, and will be invited to acquire 30 percent of SAEI’s capital and participate in managing the project, the airline said in an advertisement published in local newspapers in the Kingdom this week.
SAEI has signed a long-term agreement with Saudia for the maintenance of its 125-aircraft fleet, which include 44 new aircraft such as Airbus 320s, A321s and A330s.
“The SAEI’s privatization has many dimensions, most importantly the strategic dimension of making Saudi Arabia the main centre for commercial aircraft industry in the Middle East and Gulf regions and boosting the national economy,” Al-Ajhar said.
The Jeddah-based aircraft maintenance company has 5,523 employees with nationals accounting 88 percent of the total.