Saudi Arabia’s new national airline Riyadh Air ordered 39 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with options for an additional 33 aircraft. In addition, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) will also grow its long-haul fleet with the addition of up to 49 787 Dreamliners.
According to Boeing, the state-owned carrier SAUDIA ordered 39 787s split between 787-9 and 787-10 models and has an option for another 10 aircraft. In total, the two national carriers announced their intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners. All these aircraft will be fitted with General Electric Co. engines. The deal is valued at almost $37 billion, even though airlines typically receive steep discounts for such large orders.
This commitment for the 787s has been announced just two days after the announcement of the ambitious new national carrier by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. Riyadh Air is expected to add $20 billion to non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. The initial deliveries of the Dreamliners to Riyadh Air are scheduled for early 2025.
“By positioning the airline as both a global connector and a vehicle to drive tourist and business travel to Saudi Arabia, our new 787-9 airplanes will serve as a foundation for our worldwide operations.”Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air
He further stated that the new airline is a manifestation of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious goal to play a central role in shaping the future of global air travel and revolutionizing the customer experience.
“SAUDIA continues its expansion efforts in all aspects of the airline; whether it’s introducing new destinations or increasing the aircraft fleet. The agreement with Boeing delivers on this commitment and the newly added aircraft will further enable SAUDIA to fulfill its strategic objective of bringing the world to the Kingdom”.His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group
According to Cirium fleets data, SAUDIA already operates 13 787-9s and five 787-10s and has three more -10s on order.
Fifth Largest Boeing Order By Value
This mega deal also marks Boeing’s fifth-largest commercial order in terms of value, and will significantly contribute to Saudi Arabia’s objective of serving 330 million passengers and attracting 100 million visitors by 2030.
Furthermore, the agreement is anticipated to support nearly 100,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, as well as benefit over 300 suppliers located across 38 US states, including 145 small businesses.
“We are incredibly proud of our nearly eight decades of partnership to drive innovation and sustainable growth in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector. Our agreement builds on that longstanding partnership and will further expand access to safe and sustainable commercial air travel for decades more,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Feature Image via Boeing