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Saudi Arabia-based airlines to order up to 121 Boeing 787 Dreamliners

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Image: Boeing 787 Dreamliners in Saudi Arabia Airlines (SAUDIA) livery (Credit: The Boeing Company)

Boeing has announced two Saudi Arabia-based airlines – Saudia Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and startup airline Riyadh Air – have ordered up to 121 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. 

Part of Saudi Arabia’s wider strategic plan to become a global aviation hub, the two Saudi carriers committed to purchase up to 121 Dreamliners -78 firm and 43 options – in a deal that is the fifth largest commercial order by value in Boeing’s history.

The Kingdom’s national airline SAUDIA will purchase 39 787s including the -9 and -10 models with an option for 10 more Dreamliners.

“SAUDIA continues its expansion efforts in all aspects of the airline; whether it’s introducing new destinations or increasing the aircraft fleet,” His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group. “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”.

The new purchase of the 787s will add to SAUDIA’s current fleet of 50 Boeing aircraft on its long-haul network, which includes both the 787-9 and -10 along with the Boeing 777-300ER.

Riyadh Air’s 787 Purchase

Saudi-based startup airline Riyadh Air will purchase up to 72 787-9s – 39 firm orders with options for an additional 33 Dreamliners – that will help launch its operations from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“The new airline reflects the ambitious vision of Saudi Arabia to be at the core of shaping the future of global air travel and be a true disrupter in terms of customer experience,” said Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air.

“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,” Douglas added.
Owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Riyadh Air will be the second national airline of the Kingdom.  The airline was officially announced and established by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in early March.

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