Saudi: Aircraft Deal With Boeing for New Airline Valued at $35 Billion

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing could have another significant aircraft order locked in for this year, as the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund is closing in on a new order valued at approximately $35 billion. The massive order will be to supplement the fleet of the Kingdom’s new national carrier, RIA – which is set to officially launch soon.

As part of the Kingdom’s long-term plans to revamp and evolve its aviation industry, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund threw in an estimated $30 billion in various developments. One such development was RIA, a new national carrier planned to work closely alongside Saudia while operating from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

RIA was initially scheduled to launch next year in 2024, but the plan was later brought forward to an expected launch by the year-end of 2022, as in October the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund was already in advanced discussions to order about 40 Airbus A350 aircraft from Airbus. Negotiations with Boeing were also underway for aircraft that would enhance Saudia’s fleet and build RIA’s fleet.

Unfortunately, the year-end launch plans didn’t happen, and instead, RIA is now expected to launch in the next couple of days. The year-end launch plans were likely pushed to this year as discussions with Boeing were yet to be finalized at that time. And while it seems unclear when the deal with Airbus will be completed, talks with Boeing went quicker.

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