Saudi Arabia To Buy Up To 121 Boeing Jets

The order is for 787 Dreamliner models.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the largest country (by size) in the Middle East, recently welcomed a new airline. Dubbed Riyadh Air, it’s wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The carrier will be based out of KSA’s capital – Riyadh – and aims to connect 100 destinations by 2030. Flight operations will commence with an all-Boeing fleet as Riyadh Air will purchase 39 787-9 Dreamliners from the American aircraft maker. The deal also confirms that there’s an option to buy 33 additional 787-9 Dreamliners. Simple math reveals that Riyadh Air could have 72 Dreamliners.

Here’s what Tony Douglas, who is the CEO of Riyadh Air, said about this deal:

Riyadh Air’s commitment to its customers will see the integration of digital innovation and authentic Saudi hospitality to deliver a seamless travel experience. 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, as we build the wider network and connect our guests to Saudi Arabia and many destinations around the world.

The 787-9 has the longest range in Boeing’s ‘787’ family. It can carry around 300 passengers and cargo for up to 7,565 nautical miles (14,010km). The manufacturer also claims the aircraft in question has the largest windows of any jet, packs technology that senses and counters turbulence and offers 25 per cent reduced emissions over its predecessor.

Besides Riyadh Air, the country’s flagship carrier – Saudia – has also placed an order with Boeing. The deal includes the purchase of 39 787s, with the option to order 10 additional. The total count of 49 aircraft will consist of 787-9 and 787-10 models. 49 (Saudia) + 72 (Riyadh Air) = 121 Boeing Dreamliners.

This is the fifth largest commercial order (by value) in history for the aircraft manufacturer. Once fulfilled, the expanded fleet of Saudia and the new airline Riyadh Air will help support the KSA’s goal of serving 330 million passengers and attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.

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