MIAMI – On May 3, 2017, Saudia / Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV/SVA) inaugurated Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner service to Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ/CYYZ).
The airline initially placed a confirmed ordered for eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in November 2010 (announcing an intent to purchase in 2008), along with a number of Boeing 777-300ERs as part of a fleet renewal program that included a total of 82 aircraft.
Saudia also agreed to take 50 Airbus A320-family aircraft and eight A330s. The fleet currently constitutes a mix of aircraft types including Boeing B787-9s, B777-200LRs, B777-300ERs, Airbus A320-200s, Airbus A321s, and Airbus A330-300s.
The carrier originally planned to order 12 General Electric GEnx powered 787-9s, with intent to lease 4 of these from Kuwaiti lessor ALAFCO.
The four leased jets were originally due in 2012 while the purchased aircraft were scheduled to arrive in 2014-15. Service ultimately commenced in 2015.
Six 787-9 Dreamliners have been delivered to date. Saudia’s Dreamliners are configured with 298 seats: 24 Business Class & 274 Guest Class.
Saudia’s Toronto service has been operating since October 2013, initially serviced by Boeing 777-300ERs.
The airline became the fourth Gulf carrier operating flights to Canada after Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. Saudia’s 787-9 service started with aircraft HZ-ARE, c/n 41548/542, which was delivered in March 2017.
The inaugural flight number was SVA61 on May 3, 2017, landing on Runway 33L at YYZ. It arrived at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ/CYYZ) from Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (OERK / RUH) via Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport (OEJN /JED).
The service runs thrice weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday. Saudia’s addition of Dreamliner service to Toronto makes it the 7th year-round scheduled 787 operator serving Toronto (ACA, ETH, BAW, LOT, CHH, KLM).
Future Dreamliner operators to Toronto will likely include Korean and El Al.