Saudi airlines Riyadh Air and Saudia have placed orders for 78 787 Dreamline aircraft from US-based Boeing. The two airlines have also placed options that could take the total order to 121 aircraft.
Riyadh Air has said it will purchase 39 787-9s, with options for an additional 33 787-9s. Saudia will purchase 39 787s, with an option for a further 10. The agreement will include both 787-9 and 787-10 models.
Riyadh Air was launched earlier in March and its aircraft order, together with Saudia’s, will help support the kingdom's aviation and tourism ambitions. The country has a goal of serving 330 million passengers and attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.
READ MORE: Saudi Arabia raises aviation stakes
"By positioning the airline as both a global connector and a vehicle to drive tourist and business travel to Saudi Arabia, 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," said Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air.
Saudia already operates more than 50 Boeing airplanes on its long-haul network, including the 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner.
The 787-9 provides the longest range of the 787 family of airplanes, flying approximately 300 passengers 14,010 kilometres with additional cargo capacity.
In November, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced the masterplan for King Salman International airport in Riyadh. If completed on time in 2030, it will become the largest airport in the world in terms of passenger capacity.
The aim is for the airport to accommodate up to 120 million passengers by 2030 and 185 million passengers by 2050. For cargo, the goal is to process 3.5 million tonnes a year by 2050.
It will cover an area of about 57 square kilometres, allowing for six parallel runways, and will include the existing terminals at King Khalid International airport.
The project will also include 12 square kilometres of airport support facilities, residential and recreational facilities, retail outlets and other logistics real estate.
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