American planemaker Boeing Co has received a boost for its 787 Dreamliner programme from two Gulf carriers. The first involves new start-up Saudi Arabian carrier Riyadh Air which has placed an order for 39 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with options on a further 33 of the long-haul jets. The arrival of Riyadh Air corresponds with Saudi Arabia’s goal of welcoming up to 100 million visitors on an annual basis by 2030. The new carrier is owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and will be based in Riyadh, the country’s capital city.
“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.
The second boost involves Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) which has placed an order for 39 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options for a further ten of the jets. The firm order will include both 787-9 and 787-10 variants of the wide-body jet. SAUDIA presently operates over 50 Boeing jets on its long-haul network, including the 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner.
“Adding to its 787 Dreamliner fleet will enable SAUDIA to expand its long-haul service with outstanding range, capacity and efficiency,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “After more than 75 years of partnership, we are honoured by SAUDIA’s confidence in Boeing products and will continue to support Saudi Arabia’s goal to expand sustainable air travel.”
In total, Saudi Arabian carriers announced today their intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners in what will be the fifth-largest commercial order by value in Boeing’s history.