Saudia is effectively one of the most active airlines at the moment. The Saudi Arabian flag carrier is both quite aggressively pricing certain routes on its networks and expanding/modernising its fleet. All in the effort to become an aviation powerhouse just as its other middle eastern counterparts. The latest news coming from Saudia is regarding a new order placed with aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Let’s find out more about this latest order placed with Boeing by Saudia.
The New Boeing 787 Saudia Order
The Saudi Arabian flag carrier, Saudia, has placed an order for 39 Boeing 787s. The order will see deliveries of both 787-9 and 787-10 to the middle eastern airline.
Also Saudia will have an option to add extra 10 planes to the order. If the airline uses this option the order would increase to 49 planes.
Expanding The Long Range Fleet
This new aircraft order will further enhance the and modernise Saudia’s long range fleet. A long range fleet that already features Boeing 777s and 787s, along with Airbus A330s.
The delivery of these new Boeing 787 will allow Saudia to expand its network and increase capacity on existing routes. The airline, which is owned by the state’s investment fund PIF, aims to become a leading force in aviation in the coming years. Saudia needs to gear up to go head to head with giants such as Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates.
The Other Saudi 787 Order
Along with the Saudia order for up to 49 Boeing 787s there was another large order placed by PIF with the American manufacturer. In the near future we’ll be seeing a new airline enter the market, a second Saudi flag carrier: Riyadh Air.
The investment fund placed an order for 39 boeing 787-9 planes to launch the airline with the option to purchase further 33 of the type down the line.
The Bigger Plan for Saudi Arabian Airlines
This is all part of a much bigger plan that involves the entire country of Saudi Arabia. I’m sure many of you have noticed much more advertising relating to the Visit Saudi campaign in past weeks and months.
Saudi Arabia is trying to market itself as a tourism destination in the region, trying to attract visitors from untapped markets so far. The goal is to attract 100 million visitors per year to the country by 2030.
This is also part of the effort the country is making to move away from an oil centric economy and differentiate its sources of revenue. Key to reaching this goal is making of its national carrier an aviation powerhouse on global scale, similarly to what Qatar and the UAE did with their respective airlines.
Only time will tell how this will play out for Saudi Arabia and its national carrier Saudia.