DUBAI, June 3 (Reuters) – Saudi budget airline flyadeal is studying a possible order for between 10 and 20 wide-body jets to carry more passengers, and could make a decision by the end of the year.

The low-cost subsidiary of state carrier Saudia is in the early stages of comparing the Boeing 787 and Airbus A330neo, CEO Steven Greenway told Reuters. It has not yet started a formal competition between planemakers, he added.

Such a deal would be worth up to around $5 billion at list prices, though airlines typically win sharp discounts.

Saudia Group, owner of Saudia, and flyadeal placed an order for a total of 105 Airbus narrow-body aircraft last month.

Among larger aircraft, Jeddah-based Saudia already operates the Boeing 787 and the A330ceo, an earlier version of the A330neo which is an upgrade based on new engines.

“We have on our back doorstep an operator, in our owner, that has intimate knowledge of both aircraft, which is very helpful to us,” Greenway said in an interview.

The larger A350, the latest Airbus wide-body jet which competes with both the Boeing 787 and 777, is less likely to be a contender because it was built for longer ranges than flyadeal needs, Greenway said.

“The A350s are a great airplane, but they’re over-engineered for what we need,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the IATA airline association’s annual meeting in Dubai.

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