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Saudi Arabian Airlines has ordered from Brazil 15 Embraer 170 aircraft worth US$400mn. Deliveries will begin in December 2005. These will be the first Embraer 170s to be sold in the Middle East.

The Embraer 170 will seat 66 passengers in Saudi Arabian configuration (segregated between men and women), of which six will be first class seats. The Embraer jet can carry up to 78 passengers.

Jeddah-based Saudi Arabian Airlines says it intends to use the new aircraft to increase frequency in some key routes and develop mini-hubs in the northern Hail City and Abha in the south. The Embraer 170 range of 2,000 nautical miles allows it to fly non-stop to most of Eastern Europe from Jeddah.