Aviation Top Stories

Saudi Arabia orders 121 planes from Boeing for Saudia & Riyadh Air

Two Saudi Arabian airlines said they will order 78 jetliners from Boeing and take options to buy 43 more in a major boost for the American aircraft manufacturer, reports AP.

The order for Boeing 787s will be divided between Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier, Saudia, and a planned new airline called Riyadh Air, which Saudi officials introduced over the weekend.

At list prices, the combined deal would be worth about $37 billion if the options are exercised, but airlines routinely get deep discounts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The ambition here in the kingdom is huge, and this today … is our first big order,” Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air, told CNBC. “There will be more orders.”

The planes covered by the orders and options are long-range, two-aisle “widebody” jets, in the industry jargon. Boeing and Europe’s Airbus dominate the market.

“Serving the Middle East, in our view, is a very, very important and critical market for widebodies, and we like that Boeing won this one,” said Boeing CEO David Calhoun, who travelled to Riyadh for the announcement.

Boeing had been talking to the Saudis about an order for three years, according to two senior U.S. administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been publicly announced.

“We are particularly pleased that Boeing was able to finally conclude these deals with Saudi Arabia after years of discussions, and intensive negotiations over recent months,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She called the announcement “another milestone in eight decades of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and American industry.”
(Source: AP)

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