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Boeing Secures Major Contract with Saudi Arabia

Boeing announced Tuesday that it has agreed to sell 78 787 Dreamliner planes to two Saudi airlines, the second significant order for the wide-body airplanes in recent months.

The planes will be delivered to Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Saudia, and a new airline dubbed Riyadh Air, which was launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the weekend. Saudia purchased 39 of the planes, with options for ten more, while Riyadh Air will receive 39 of the jets’ two largest variants, with possibilities for 33 more.

Boeing did not provide a delivery date for the jets. The White House stated that the order is worth over $37 billion, albeit this amount does not include any discounts that airlines typically obtain.

The transaction demonstrates an increase in demand for wide-body aircraft, which are used for long-distance flights and command a greater price than narrow-body jets.

Riyadh Air is controlled by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, and Tony Douglas, a longstanding industry veteran and former CEO of Etihad Airlines, will serve as CEO.

United Airlines committed to acquire at least 100 Dreamliners from Boeing in December, and Air India placed an order for 460 Boeing and Airbus planes last month.

Boeing is scheduled to resume Dreamliner deliveries this week, following a weeks-long halt caused by a data analysis glitch revealed last month. On Tuesday, CEO Dave Calhoun told CNBC that the delivery resumption is imminent.

The airline said it delivered 28 planes in February, 24 of which were 737 Max aircraft, an increase from 22 total deliveries the previous year.

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