Boeing Commercial Airplanes will supply a total of 78 wide-body Dreamliner aircraft to two Saudi airlines, with options for 43 more, under two new contracts independently reported to be worth as much as $37 billion. According to Boeing, the two contracts are part of a strategic plan to establish Saudi Arabia into “a global aviation hub,” and targeting 330 million passengers and 100 million visitors annually by 2030.
The first contract with Saudi Arabian Airlines is for a total of 39 Boeing 787-9 and 787-10 aircraft, plus options for 10 more jets.
The second contract is for 39 737-9 aircraft from start-up Riyadh Air, which is owned by the nation’s Public Investment Fund. This deal comes with options for 33 additional jets. "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," stated Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air.
Neither Boeing nor its customers indicated the delivery dates for the new aircraft.
The 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, wide-body aircraft developed by Boeing to achieve greater fuel-efficiency for long-range service. Since the 787’s introduction in 2011, Boeing has logged 1,615 orders for the 787, and as of December 2022 it had an order backlog of 575 aircraft.
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing to resume deliveries of new Dreamliners, which had been paused in late February following discovery of supplier’s faulty analysis on a fuselage structural component, a previous version of which was cited for safety concerns and resulted in a 787 delivery halt during 2021-22.