Some big wins for The Boeing Company, with the manufacturer winning orders from both SAUDIA and the upcoming Riyadh Air.
Let us start with the incumbent SAUDIA – which will grow its fleet by 49 Boeing 787 aircraft. The airline is set to purchase 39 Boeing 787s, with a further 10 options. The agreement will include both Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 787-10 models.
SAUDIA operates more than 50 Boeing airplanes on its long-haul network, including the 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner.
Onto Riyadh Air (the new airline that came out of initial planning on announced Sunday).
Owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Riyadh Air said it will purchase 39 Boeing 787-9s, with options for an additional 33 Boeing 787-9s. Based in the capital city, Riyadh Air will play a key role in growing Saudi Arabia’s air transport network.
Both orders are yet to be finalised. Once they are, they will be added to the Boeing backlog.
In total, Saudi Arabian carriers today announced their intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners in what will be the fifth-largest commercial order by value in Boeing’s history if all options are exercised.
This will support the country’s goal of serving 330 million passengers and attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.
On the SAUDIA order, His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group said
“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”
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes added.
“Adding to its 787 Dreamliner fleet will enable SAUDIA to expand its long-haul service with outstanding range, capacity and efficiency,”
“After more than 75 years of partnership, we are honored by SAUDIA’s confidence in Boeing products and will continue to support Saudi Arabia’s goal to expand sustainable air travel.”
On the Riyadh Air order Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air said:
“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
“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,”
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes added
“This is a significant order that will support Riyadh Air’s commitment to deliver a world-class travel experience, while supporting American aerospace manufacturing jobs at Boeing and across our supply chain,”
“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.”
Big numbers for Big Ambitions
With Riyadh Air’s dream of taking on the bigger players in the Middle East, it seems it wants to have a uniform fleet to start with to build on, with the Boeing 787 being the ideal base for the airline.
But the dream to expand continues, with legacy flag carrier SAUDIA benefiting from the order too, as it drives growth here too.
It will lead to questions – can the country sustain two flag-level carriers? And how will Riyadh Air impact SAUDIA in the longer term? These are questions we’ll find out over the next few years as Saudi Arabia drives its vision of people travelling to the kingdom, as well as transiting it.
Images, The Boeing Company.
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