Saudi Arabian Boeing 777 delivers National Football Team to Adelaide

On the 30th of May, the Saudi Arabian national football team arrived in Adelaide on a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 777, painted in a special colour scheme featuring famous landmarks. TWA contributor Clayton Ferguson was there to witness the aircraft’s arrival.

HZ-AK28 on final approach to Adelaide Airport. All Photos ©Clayton Ferguson

The team arrived on Boeing 777-368(ER) HZ-AK28 (MSN 42266) operating flight SV7431 from Riyadh. HZ-AK28 was delivered to the carrier’s Jeddah base in August 2015 before being repainted in September that year. The aircraft was welcomed to Adelaide with a traditional water canon salute, as pictured below.

HZ-AK28 receiving a water canon salute

The Saudi Arabia team are in Adelaide to play against the Australian Socceroos squad for a crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Adelaide Oval on June 8.

The Boeing 777 stayed an few extra nights after it’s arrival, before departing back to Riyadh on the 3rd of June. A 777 will be chartered in to fly the team back to Saudia Arabia after their game.

Close up with the special livery

The aircraft’s visit marked three occasions for Australian aviation, as HZ-AK28 set a few records:

  • Longest flight in terms of distance to Adelaide
  • First Saudia aircraft in Adelaide
  • First Saudia 777-300(ER) in Australia

Thank you to Clayton Ferguson for providing the photos and some of the information in this report. Follow him on Instagram here for more photos like these!


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