Saudi Arabia announces order for up to 121 Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Two Saudia Dreamliners. Photo: © Boeing

State owned Saudi Arabian Airlines and newly founded sister airline Riyadh Air have announced orders for up to 121 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Saudia, as it is more commonly known, has signed an order for 39 Dreamliner consisting of both the 787-9 and larger 787-10 variants, as well as options for another 10 of the type. Saudia General Director H. E. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar said “SAUDIA continues its expansion efforts in all aspects of the airline; whether it’s introducing new destinations or increasing the aircraft fleet, […] the agreement with Boeing delivers on this commitment and the newly added aircraft will further enable SAUDIA to fulfill its strategic objective of bringing the world to the Kingdom.” The airline already operates 18 Dreamliners and expects to take delivery of a further three.

Riyadh Air is the newly founded airline that will be based in Riyadh and wants to establish a rivaling hub to other Middle Eastern airlines at the airport. To facilitate that, the airline has ordered 39 787-9 Dreamliners with options for 33 additional aircraft. Tony Douglas, the airline’s CEO commented on the deal: “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,” and “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.

No delivery timeline was announced for either order, but the first airplanes are likely to be delivered in 2024 at the earliest.