Saudi nearing $35 bn Boeing aircraft contract
Two Saudi Arabian airlines are close to agreeing to a deal to purchase up to 80 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with options for an additional 40. This will be a sizable order for the American aircraft manufacturer, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The Boeing aircraft order was valued at around $35 billion, according to WSJ. It was unclear whether that figure included the typical steep discounts aircraft manufacturers give their customers.
Riyadh Air, a new airline launched by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund over the weekend, is expected to commit to buying 39 of the wide-body jets, while existing carrier Saudia is expected to purchase the same number of jets.
Read more: New airline launched by Saudi to add $20 bn to non-oil GDP
Wide-body jets are popular among the world’s airlines due to their fuel efficiency and ability to transport passengers profitably on long-haul international routes. According to Boeing’s most recent publicly available list prices, each has a list price of around $300 million before typical discounts.
Terms of aircraft deals can change before they are finalized, and such agreements can fall apart later on. According to people familiar with the situation, Boeing had been competing for the contract for months with its European rival Airbus SE.
The Saudi-Boeing aircraft deal, if completed, would be the latest in a string of major orders for the American plane maker. United Airlines Holdings Inc., based in Chicago, announced in December that it would purchase 100 Dreamliners as part of a deal that also included orders for the manufacturer’s smaller 737 MAX narrow-body jets.
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