Saudi Arabian Airlines established its technical division in 1959 at the old Jeddah International Airport in Saudi Arabia. At the time, it built a two bay hangar capable of accommodating the B707-200 in operation with the airline at the time.
Part of the long term plans included training Saudi nationals to fly and maintain the fleet of SAUDIA. In 1962, the technical division started sending young Saudi high school graduates to the USA for English language training and to obtain A&P and Avionics certification.
In 1982, the new Jeddah airport was opened – King Abdulaziz International Airport – and Technical Services moved to a new facility capable of accommodating wide body aircraft such as the Airbus A300-600 and Boeing B747. By that time, the division took on full responsibility of managing the engineering and maintenance of SAUDIA fleet with over 85% Saudi manpower. By 2005, that percentage rose to over 90%.
As a result of the initiative to privatize SAUDIA, Technical Services was restructured and registered as a private commercial LLC in 2009 and was re-named as Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries with its independent brand and identity.
Today, SAEI is in the process of building a state of the art facility over one million square meters of land at the North East side of KAIA. The facility will house 12 aircraft hangars, modern warehouses, aircraft component shops, and a brand new jet engine maintenance facility with a 150K/Lb Thrust test cell. This facility is planned for completion by the end of 2020 placing SAEI in the top ranks of MROs worldwide and making it the largest in the region with a wide range of capabilities for aircraft, engines and component maintenance.