RIYAHD AIR: All Boeing Dreamliner fleet for launch
Rumoured to be contemplating both Airbus and Boeing orders, it looks like Boeing pipped Airbs at the post for the largest commercial order by value in Boeing’s history.
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The new airline Riyadh Air, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), will buy 39 of the 787=9s with a further 33 options. These planes will launch the airlines ambition to make Riyahd into a global aviation hub with the goal of serving 330 million passengers and 100 million visitors to the kingdom by 2030.
“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.”CEO Tony Douglas
The 787-9 has the longest range in the 787 family. It can fly roughly 300 passengers up to 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km), including cargo capacity. The aeroplanes have the largest windows of any jet, greater humidity with cabins pressurised at a lower cabin altitude for greater comfort. The aircraft also has larger overhead luggage bins and technology that senses and counters turbulence facilitating a smoother ride. All that with the economics of greater fuel efficiency.
Predictions are that Riyadh Air will also pick up some 737 MAXs for regional flying.
Airbus A350s as well
Speculation abounds that the airline will also be ordering a significant number of a350s. We dont’ know the configuration or model, or eve if there is ordering negotiation, but back in October 2022, Reuters reported an order of close to 40 aircraft at a cost of US$12 billion was announced, but never confirmed. The order was for Saudi Arabia, so could have been for Riyadh Air, but might also have been for existing sister airline Saudia. Perhaps the strategy for both airlines has changed in the meantime.
For an airline that has the ambition of being a rival to the middle eastern behemoth by 2030 to rival Emirates, this is a good start.
Next, I want to see some livery!