Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has ordered 39 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with an option for another 10.

The agreement will include both 787-9 and 787-10 models. The Dreamliner reportedly reduces fuel use and emissions by 25 per cent compared to the aircraft it replaces. The 787-9 also provides the longest range of the 787 family, flying approximately 300 passengers 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km), with additional cargo capacity too.

“The deal is in addition to the existing order of 38 new aircraft Saudia is expected to receive by 2026, which will increase the current fleet of 142,” said Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation.

Saudia currently operates more than 50 Boeing airplanes on its long-haul network, including the 777-300ER (extended range) and 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner.

Apart from Saudia, Riyadh Air – the new carrier that was unveiled earlier this week – said that it too had reached an agreement with Boeing to purchase 39 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, with an option to purchase another 33 of the same aeroplane.

“The new airline reflects the ambitious vision of Saudi Arabia to be at the core of shaping the future of global air travel and be a true disrupter in terms of customer experience,” said Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air, who was the former CEO at Etihad Airways.” 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,” Douglas said

Owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Riyadh Air is based out of the kingdom’s capital city and is expected to add US$20 billion to the country’s non-oil GDP growth, and create more than 200,000 jobs. Riyadh Air will reportedly aim to connect to over 100 destinations globally by 2030.

Saudi Arabia launches new Riyadh Air carrier

“This is a significant order that will support Riyadh Air’s commitment to deliver a world-class travel experience, while supporting American aerospace manufacturing jobs at Boeing and across our supply chain,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are incredibly proud of our nearly eight decades of partnership in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector.”

Riyadh Air and Saudi’s Beoing orders comes as the kingdom commits itself to the goal of serving 330 million air passengers and attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.

In total, the two Saudi Arabian carriers therefore announced an intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners in what Boeing says will be the fifth largest commercial order by value in the manufacturer’s history.;