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Boeing Secures Big Order With Airlines in Saudi Arabia

Boeing Secures Big Order With Airlines in Saudi Arabia

Boeing said on Tuesday that it had secured orders for dozens of 787 Dreamliner jets with a pair of Saudi Arabian airlines, providing a boost to the airplane, which has faced lengthy delivery delays since late 2020.

Riyadh Air, a new airline owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Saudia Airlines, also owned by the government, will each buy 39 jets, Boeing said. Together, the orders are worth tens of billions of dollars at list prices, though large orders are typically heavily discounted. The deals are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to become a global aviation hub, copying a business model used by other Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

“The new airline reflects the ambitious vision of Saudi Arabia to be at the core of shaping the future of global air travel,” Tony Douglas, the chief executive of Riyadh Air and a former top executive at Etihad Airways, said in a statement.

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, described the deal as a demonstration of the “enduring strategic partnership” between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia’s longstanding relationship with the United States has been strained over the past five years as the kingdom expanded its alliances with other global powers, including China, India and Russia.

On the campaign trail, President Biden pledged to turn Saudi Arabia into a “pariah” over its human rights record, and the two governments traded harsh words in October after Saudi Arabia supported an oil production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies despite pleas from American officials to wait.

Still, U.S.-Saudi business and investment ties remain deep. The vast majority of Saudi Arabia’s weaponry and defensive systems are manufactured by American companies.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, praised the deals, saying in a statement that they would support 140,000 jobs across the country, many of which do not require a college degree. The Saudi airlines will also use General Electric engines on their new planes.

“This partnership is another milestone in eight decades of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and American industry,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “Our administration looks forward to working with Saudi Arabia and all partners in the Middle East to support a more prosperous, secure and integrated region, which ultimately benefits the American people.”

Under the agreements, Riyadh…

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