Saudi Arabian airlines tap Boeing for up to 121 planes

Two Saudi Arabian air carriers placed orders for a total of up to 121 Boeing airplanes as part of the country’s plan to become a global aviation hub.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 1:16 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 4:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Two Saudi Arabian air carriers placed orders for a total of up to 121 Boeing airplanes as part of the country’s plan to become a global aviation hub.

Combined, the orders for up to 121 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft are the fifth largest commercial order in the company’s history.

SAUDIA, the country’s national flag carrier, will grow its long-haul fleet by purchasing up to 49 787 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, said. “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.”

SAUDIA’s fleet already includes 50 Boeing airplanes.

New Saudi Arabian carrier, Riyadh Air, on Tuesday, announced plans to launch with a fleet of up to 72 787 Dreamliners.

The airline will purchase 39 airplanes with an option for 33 additional planes.

“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,” CEO of Riyadh Air Tony Douglas said.

In a statement, Boeing said they were committed to being a part of the country’s growing aviation sector.

“Boeing congratulates the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and Riyadh Air for launching a new world-class carrier with an all-Boeing fleet, selecting up to 72 787-9 Dreamliners. We are also pleased to announce SAUDIA’s intention to purchase up to 49 787-9 Dreamliners.

“These orders will support American aerospace engineering and manufacturing jobs at Boeing and across our supply chain and build upon our longstanding relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“Together, we are committed to driving innovation and sustainable growth in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector. The agreements are part of Saudi Arabia’s strategic plan to transform the country into a global aviation hub and will further expand access to safe and sustainable commercial air travel for the country while supporting its Vision 2030 goals.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham called the deal “great news for South Carolina.”

“The Biden Administration has done a terrific job in moving the ball forward and was instrumental in landing this purchase,” Graham said. “As always, Governor McMaster and Commerce Secretary Lightsey were there to make good things happen for South Carolina.”

Graham went on to call the deal a “game changer” and Boeing a “great corporate citizen” of South Carolina.

Saudi Arabia says the country hopes to serve 330 million passengers and attract 100 million annual visitors by 2023.