Riyadh Air was officially announced and revealed recently, a new mega airline expected to launch out of Saudia Arabia. However, to go along with the launch of a new airline comes the need for new aircraft.
According to reports, Boeing is poised to be the provider of Riyadh Air’s first aircraft contract. Per the Wall Street Journal, the Public Investment Firm for Saudia Arabia, the whole owners of Riyadh Air are expected to put USD 35 billion into Boeing jets at a list price value. This would be a significant contract for Boeing to acquire over fierce competitor Airbus.
While specific aircraft is yet to be specified, the same reports indicate that wide bodies will be included. If that’s the case, unless Riyadh Air believes it can wait for the 777X’s introduction to service from 2025 onwards, the 787 will likely be the front-runner.
Saudia Arabia wants to expand its presence globally. This includes tourism purposes, its overall economy, transportation and much more. They believe the birth of Riyadh Air is the necessary pathway to achieving these ambitions. How successful these plans remain to be seen.
Questions have continuously arisen over the fate of Saudi, the currently Saudia Arabian-based airline which already flies long-haul services out of Riyadh.
Why didn’t they buy any airbus 350? This has to do with quality and geopolitics as well. Boeing is the winner in the long run and airbus will lose once British ditch airbus and become trade partners with the US.