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Greenville Business Magazine

Saudi Arabian Airlines to Grow Long-Haul Fleet with up to 49 Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Mar 15, 2023 02:29PM ● By David Dykes

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) announced the national flag-carrier will grow its long-haul fleet with the selection of up to 49 787 Dreamliners. 

Boeing officials said Saudia is set to purchase 39 787s, with a further 10 options, using the efficiency, range and flexibility of the Dreamliner to grow its global operation. The agreement will include both 787-9 and 787-10 models, the officials said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that, in all, two Saudi Arabian airlines said they would buy almost 80 Boeing Co. Dreamliners, part of a broader plan to boost travel to the oil-rich kingdom.

U.S. administration officials said the deal announced Tuesday was worth a combined $37 billion, according to The Journal. It said the jets would be powered by U.S.-made General Electric Co. engines.

The Journal reported the orders are split between a new government-backed startup airline, Riyadh Air, and Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Saudia, the country‚Äôs existing flag carrier.

In all, the carriers announced their intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners in what will be the fifth largest commercial order by value in Boeing's history. This will support the country's goal of serving 330 million passengers and attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.   

"Saudia continues its expansion efforts in all aspects of the airline; whether it's introducing new destinations or increasing the aircraft fleet," said His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of Saudia Group. "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."

Saudia operates more than 50 Boeing airplanes on its long-haul network, including the 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner. Boeing officials said the additional 787s complement Saudia's existing fleet, enabling it to effectively harness the value of the 777 and 787 families.

Said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes: "After more than 75 years of partnership, we are honored by Saudia's confidence in Boeing products and will continue to support Saudi Arabia's goal to expand sustainable air travel."

Since revenue service began in 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 350 new nonstop routes around the world, including about 50 new routes since 2020. Boeing officials said the Dreamliner reduces fuel use and emissions by 25 percent compared to the airplanes it replaces.

Boeing South Carolina is the home of the 787 Dreamliner, where the full cycle of 787 Dreamliner production happens. 

Boeing teammates fabricate, assemble and deliver the 787-8, 787-9, and 787-10 to customers worldwide.