Saudi Arabia launches new airline and big 787 order

Saudia Arabia’s national airline, SAUDIA, along with new national airline, Riyadh Air, have ordered upto 121 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Riyadh Air, led by former Etihad boss Tong Douglas, ordered 39 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with options for an additional 33. SAUDIA will also expand with up to 49 787 Dreamliners being added to its fleet.

The two Saudi airlines have pinned their expansion on the success of the Boeing 787, with the 787-9 providing the longest range of the 787 family of airplanes, flying approximately 300 passengers 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km). SAUDIA currently operates more than 50 Boeing airplanes on its long-haul network, including the, 777-300ER and 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner.

His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group said, “SAUDIA continues its expansion efforts in all aspects of the airline; whether it’s introducing new destinations or increasing the aircraft fleet. 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”.

The Kingdom has big plans for attracting tourism and hopes to reach 100 million visitors by 2030. Saudi Arabia’s current national airline, Saudia, will now be joined by Riyadh Air, which will operate from the capital city with a network of over 100 destinations by 2030. The addition of the new airline to Saudi’s portfolio will also mean an expansion of King Khalid airport in Riyadh, transforming it into King Salman airport.