The Middle Eastern country agreed to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners, Boeing announced on Tuesday, for what the White House said was nearly $37 billion. Riyadh Air, a new airline that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced over the weekend, will purchase 39 new aircraft, with an option for 33 more, while Saudia Airlines is set to purchase 39, with an option for 10 more.
"Adding to its 787 Dreamliner fleet will enable SAUDIA to expand its long-haul service with outstanding range, capacity, and efficiency," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "After more than 75 years of partnership, we are honored by SAUDIA's confidence in Boeing products and will continue to support Saudi Arabia's goal to expand sustainable air travel."
The deal represents a win-win for both Saudi Arabia, which is looking to serve 330 million passengers and attract 100 million visitors annually by 2030, and the U.S. for the requisite jobs to fill the order.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the deals support more than 140,000 U.S. jobs, "many of which do not require a four-year college degree," adding, "Today’s announcement ensures that Boeing and General Electric will anchor Saudi Arabia’s new international airline together with support for a new international airport. This partnership is another milestone in eight decades of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and American industry."
“This is a clear win for American manufacturers and workers, supporting more than 140,000 jobs at over 300 Boeing suppliers across 38 states," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement. "Moreover, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected GE Aerospace’s GEnx engine to power the aircraft, providing billions more in U.S. exports and supporting good-paying American jobs. Under President Biden, America is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance, and agreements like the one announced today underscore the strength of America’s private sector, workers, and technology in the competitive global landscape."
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told Reuters that his company got support from the administration and key lawmakers "every step of the way."