A Narrowbody Order Coming
Saudi Arabia’s start-up Riyadh Air is exploring adding a narrowbody aircraft to its plans.
The leading option consists of the 737 MAX from Boeing, which has been discussed by reputable sources as the only plane in the race.
However, Riyadh Air has also been evaluating options from Airbus for narrowbody aircraft in a deal that likely includes the A320neo family aircraft.
It’s up to Riyadh Air to analyse the proposed aircraft and understand what makes the most sense within the network.
Bloomberg reports that a deal for narrowbody aircraft, likely the 737 MAX, would consist of up to 100 total units. However, specifics around the variants selected remain unclear at this point.
A conclusion of the search for a narrowbody aircraft came last week, per reports. Now, it’s about tying up the contract and an eventual announcement.
Despite the ongoing 2023 Dubai Airshow and a Boeing-owned 787 wearing the Riyadh Air colours present, the major show comes too soon, likely for an announcement.
Riyadh Air’s Future Plans
Riyadh Air has already committed to the Boeing 787 series. This type is slated to be a critical aircraft for its long-haul fleet.
Tony Douglas, the man leading the helm at Riyadh Air after moving from Etihad Airways, says the two orders in a year highlight the company’s intent.
A commitment to planes in the three digits in the space of a year should showcase the ambitions. The airline targets 110 cities across its route network over the next decade.
Using Riyadh as a base, the company is set to attempt to capture significant growth in and out of Saudi Arabia in the future decades.
The launch of Riyadh Air is part of the Kingdom’s attempts to drive tourism. Additionally, there’s a focus on facilitating further economic benefits to the region by 2030.