The aircraft order, valued at $35 billion, is part of a rapid expansion by Saudi Arabia under a strategy to transform the kingdom into a transport hub and promote tourism, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to reports, the airline is set to receive the first wide-body aircraft and launch its first international flight in early 2025.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is close to a deal to order Boeing commercial jets for the fleet of a new national airline — Riyadh Air — The Wall Street Journal has reported
The aircraft order, valued at $35 billion, is part of a rapid expansion by Saudi Arabia under a strategy to transform the kingdom into a transport hub and promote tourism, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad bin Salman announced on Sunday the establishment of Riyadh Air, a wholly owned company by the PIF.
Riyadh will be the company’s operational hub and will connect the Saudi capital to over 100 destinations globally by 2030, making use of the kingdom's location between Asia, Africa and Europe, state news agency SPA said.
According to reports, the company is set to receive the first wide-body aircraft and launch its first international flight in early 2025. While the new carrier is yet to announce its aircraft orders, a top official noted that the order will be "substantial and will reflect Riyadh Air's ambitions."
Reportedly, the Boeing order may involve as many as 100 aircraft, including wide-body jets that are often used in long-haul international flying. Aircraft deals can include a mix of confirmed orders and options to buy more later.
In October 2022, PIF’s Governor Yasser Al Rumayyan said he expected the first flight of the new airline to take off within a few years, noting the airline's aircraft fleet model will be limited to one or two at most. PIF was also reportedly in advanced negotiations to order almost 40 A350 jets from Airbus..
The head of state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) was recently reported as saying that officials were in talks with Boeing and Airbus on orders both for itself and the new carrier.
Riyadh Air, aimed at enabling Riyadh to become a gateway to the world and a global destination for transportation, trade, and tourism, will be chaired by Al Rumayyan, while former Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas has been appointed chief executive officer.
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