Riyadh Air to launch operations with 72 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

Boeing and Riyadh Air announced that the new Saudi Arabian carrier has chosen the 787 Dreamliner to power its global launch and support its goal of operating one of the most efficient and sustainable fleets in the world.

Owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Riyadh Air said it will purchase 39 highly efficient 787-9s, with options for an additional 33 787-9s. Based in the capital city, Riyadh Air will play a key role in growing Saudi Arabia’s air transport network.

The Dreamliner aircraft will be equipped with General Electric’s GEnex engines. This is Boeing’s fifth biggest order historically after a massive order by Air India last month.

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In total, Saudi Arabia has placed a total of 121 orders with Boeing, as the other flag carrier Saudia placed an order of 39 confirmed Dreamliner orders with an option of 10 more planes. These deals are valued at around USD 34 billion. This will support the country’s goal of serving 330 million passengers and attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.   

“The new airline reflects the ambitious vision of Saudi Arabia to be at the core of shaping the future of global air travel and be a true disrupter in terms of customer experience. Riyadh Air’s commitment to its customers will see the integration of digital innovation and authentic Saudi hospitality to deliver a seamless travel experience. 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.”

Tony Douglas, CEO, Riyadh Air

The first deliveries of the widebody aircraft are scheduled for early 2025. Riyadh Air will be a digitally-led full-service airline with a commitment to sustainability reflecting Saudi Arabia’s transformative projects under Vision 2030. It will operate in line with the country’s strides toward net zero emissions.

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Riyadh Air is wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has more than USD 600 billion in assets and is the main driver of the kingdom’s efforts to wean itself off oil. The airline will serve more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030 and will directly compete against Emirates and Qatar Airways.

“This is a significant order that will support Riyadh Air’s commitment to deliver a world-class travel experience, while supporting American aerospace manufacturing jobs at Boeing and across our supply chain. We are incredibly proud of our nearly eight decades of partnership to drive innovation and sustainable growth in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector. Our agreement builds on that longstanding partnership and will further expand access to safe and sustainable commercial air travel for decades more.”

Stan Deal, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

The 787-9 provides the longest range of the 787 families of airplanes, flying approximately 300 passengers 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km), with additional cargo capacity. Passengers enjoy a better experience with the largest windows of any jet, air that is more humid and pressurized at a lower cabin altitude for greater comfort, large overhead bins with room for everyone’s bag; soothing LED lighting, and technology that senses and counters turbulence for a smoother ride.

Riyadh Air to launch operations with 72 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

The 787 families is delivering unmatched fuel efficiency to airline operators around the world reducing fuel use and emissions by 25% compared to airplanes they replace.

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