Sun, 02 Apr 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia: Confirming a previous report by the Wall Street Journal, Boeing said it expects to sell 78 787-Dreamliner airplanes to two Saudi Arabian airlines, state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and new national airline Riyadh Air.

The deal is expected is expected to be finalized as soon as this week, and the total value of the 78 planes would be $37 billion.

The airlines are expected to buy the 787s split between the two buyers, with the option to purchase an additional 43 aircraft.

As the kingdom aims to compete with other regional transport and travel hubs, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of Riyadh Air.

Saudi news agency SPA said Riyadh Air will serve more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030, utilizing the kingdom's location between Asia, Africa and Europe.

The agency added that the new airline is expected to add $20 billion to Saudi Arabia's non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Riyadh Air is wholly owned by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that while Boeing was lobbying for a slice of the kingdom's transportation expansion, Saudi Arabia was in advanced negotiations to order almost 40 A350 jets from Airbus in October.

The deal with the two Saudi airlines follows a major order in December for 100 787 Dreamliners and 100 737 MAX planes from United Airlines.

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