Saudi Arabia places order with Boeing for up to 121 planes
The new Saudi Arabian national airline, Riyadh Air, will launch with an all-Boeing fleet of 787 Dreamliners.
Boeing announced Tuesday that Riyadh Air will purchase 39 787 Dreamliners, with options for an additional 33 aircraft.
Saudi Arabia’s existing airline Saudia Air will also grow its long-haul fleet with a selection of 787s.
In total, Saudi Arabian carriers announced their intent to purchase up to 121 Dreamliners, marking the fifth-largest commercial order by value in Boeing's history.
“In the aftermath of the pandemic, [the market has] been very depressed for international traffic and the wide bodies that serve international traffic. So, a large 787 order is certainly welcome,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with Aerodynamic Advisory.
The wide-body jets will support Saudi Arabia’s goal of operating one of the most efficient and sustainable fleets in the world.
Aboulafia said the deal is not only historic. It's also a big order.
"It's the fifth biggest in Boeing's history by theoretical dollar value," he said. "By any metric, it's pretty sizable.”
News of the Saudi plans comes on the heels of Air India’s historic purchase of more than 200 Boeing aircraft last month.
The Puget Sound region remains the headquarters of Boeing's commercial airplanes division, which accounts for around 57,000 employees.