Two Saudi Arabian airlines sign deals with Boeing

On Tuesday, Boeing announced agreements to sell up to 121 airplanes to two Saudi Arabian carriers, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and Riyadh Air. The deals are worth a combined total of roughly $37 billion, and could double the existing Boeing fleet of SAUDIA. The agreement with Riyadh Air includes 38 Boeing 787-9s, with an option for 33 more. The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, called the announcement "another milestone in eight decades of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and American industry".

The deals have been in the works for three years, according to two Biden administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. The president himself did not bring up the agreement when meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last summer, but top aides did make a plug for the agreement on Boeing's behalf. The orders from the Saudi firms combined are the fifth-largest commercial order in the company's history and support the Middle East nation's goal of being able to provide service to 330 million passengers and attracting some 100 million visitors annually by the end of the decade.

Boeing is a leader in the aerospace sector, and the agreements made with the two Saudi Arabian carriers demonstrate the company's strong presence in the region. The deals are a major success for Boeing and illustrates the strong economic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia.


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