Boeing and Airbus facing off to win 80-aircraft order for new Saudi airline, report says

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A plane waits at the gate at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.
A plane waits at the gate at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia.

  • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is negotiating with Airbus and Boeing for new planes, per a report.
  • Fund officials want to order about 80 planes for a new national airline, Bloomberg reported.
  • The country has plans to massively boost its aviation sector by 2030. 

Saudi Arabia is seeking planes for a brand new airline and tapping up rivals Boeing and Airbus to provide them, per a Bloomberg report.

The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing to secure orders for as many as 80 new planes for the airline, Bloomberg reported. It cited unnamed sources familiar with the dealings.

Per the report, PIF wants to order 40 planes, and take out options on a similar number. The potential order includes both single-aisle and wide-body planes, per Bloomberg. 

Saudia Arabia’s capital Riyadh has ambitious plans to establish the country as a global aviation hub, per Bloomberg. The country as a whole is attempting to diversify its economy and become less dependent on oil.

The plans, dubbed Vision 2030, include establishing a second national carrier.

The nation’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced the plans in June 2021, per Reuters, but did not provide a date or name.

In September 2022, Arabian Business reported the airline would be named RIA and could use Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s.  

It’s not clear whether the order reported by Bloomberg will be exclusive to one company, or split between the two. 

Boeing declined to comment to Insider. Airbus and PIF did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

The country’s efforts to boost its aviation sector have gained ground during the pandemic, at least temporarily. The two busiest routes in the world now operate within the country, according to the latest report by the aviation data provider OAG.

Read the original article on Business Insider