Saudi Arabia strikes deal for 121 aircraft with Boeing

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has signed a $37 billion deal with Boeing to manufacture up to 121 aircraft to help put the Kingdom’s new airline on the map.

The deal with the US firm will help deliver 72 aircraft for Riyadh Air, a national carrier announced recently by the ambitious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Air is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan who commented on the development by saying that this is a momentous day for PIF and Riyadh Air, and highlights determination to significantly extend Saudi Arabia’s connectivity with the world.

“Our stated commitment is to create a world-class airline and this partnership with Boeing in building the fleet is the next step in achieving the aspirations of Saudi Arabia as a global transportation hub.

“We look forward to fostering strong strategic relationships within the wider aviation ecosystem as we continue to shape the new airline to become one of the leading carriers around the world.”

On the other hand, Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, elaborated that the firm was incredibly proud of nearly eight decades of partnership to drive innovation and sustainable growth in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector.

‘Our agreement builds on that longstanding partnership and will further expand access to safe and sustainable commercial air travel for decades more,’ he opined.

The deal was so noticeable that even a statement from White House was issued with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that talks between Boeing and Saudi Arabia had been ongoing for years.

“Today’s announcement ensures that Boeing and General Electric will anchor Saudi Arabia’s new international airline together with support for a new international airport,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air said our new 787-9 airplanes will serve as a foundation for our worldwide operations, as we build the wider network and connect our guests to Saudi Arabia and many destinations around the world.

The kingdom is making efforts to shift its focus away from oil and its sovereign fund has more than $600 billion in assets and is being utilized to diversify the income sources of Riyadh. The kingdom is focusing especially on the tourism sector to attract globetrotters from across the world as oil deposits are fast depleting.

The announcement of Riyadh Air comes months after officials announced plans for a new airport in the capital Riyadh which would span 57 sq. km and will accommodate 120 million travelers per year by 2030 and 185 million travelers by 2050.