Saudi Airlines unit to launch IPO in March

05 Jul 2010

(MENAFN) A senior executive at the Saudi Arabian Catering Co, a unit of Saudi Airlines (Saudia), said that the company is eyeing a bourse listing by March 2011, while its ground handling unit will merge in July with two other firms, Reuters reported.

The national carrier of the world?s top oil exporting country started a long process of privatisation in 2006 when it divided the company into six units; catering, cargo, maintenance, airlines, flight academy and ground handling.

Saudi Airlines has a fleet of 114 planes, including 35 Boeings and 53 Airbus A320s and is also awaiting the arrival of 35 more deliveries, according to its website.

The airline plans to privatise its units individually, before offering them to the public through IPOs. The catering unit was the first to be privatised as Saudia sold 49% of it in 2008, followed by the cargo unit.

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