Saudi Arabias RIA To Place Huge Aircraft Order

RIA, Saudi Arabia’s new mega-airline startup, is expected to signify a huge watercraft order shortly.

RIA expected to place $35 billion Boeing watercraft order

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Saudi Arabia’s new airline, RIA, is expected to signify its first watercraft order shortly, possibly in the coming days. The order is expected to include both wide soul and narrow soul jets, and will be worth $35 billion at list prices, suggesting that this will be a massive order.

This investment is coming on the part of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns the new airline. It’s expected that increasingly details will be revealed well-nigh the new airline at the same time as this announcemnet.

All we can do as of now is speculate as to what this watercraft order will squint like. I think it’s a given that RIA will order some variants of the Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Personally I moreover wouldn’t be surprised to see an order for the Boeing 777X, which is Boeing’s heavily delayed new flagship long haul aircraft.

Since RIA wants to wilt Emirates but at a much faster pace, the airline will need a lot of watercraft to succeed that. What I’m most curious well-nigh is just how soon the airline is worldly-wise to negotiate wordage slots, as I know the goal is to launch ASAP.

RIA is expected to order Boeing 787 Dreamliners

RIA Airbus A350 order moreover rumored

It’s moreover worth mentioning that in October 2022, Reuters reported that RIA was expected to place an order for 40 Airbus A350s, worth $12 billion at list prices. It’s not entirely well-spoken what happened to that order. I suspect that RIA will be placing big orders with both Airbus and Boeing, in order to grow at the pace that it wants to.

At this point it sounds like we should expect a Boeing order to be finalized first, followed by an Airbus order. Politically it’s interesting to see an order from Boeing surpassing an order with Airbus, given worsening tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

RIA will likely moreover order Airbus A350s

The nuts of RIA, Saudi Arabia’s new airline

For some preliminaries on RIA, this is Saudi Arabia’s plan to launch a new mega-airline that’s intended to compete with the other major Gulf carriers. Saudi Arabia is investing in tourism to a scale we haven’t overly seen before, and part of that involves a new airline. The country plans to invest $100 billion in aviation by 2030.

The plan is for RIA to be a Riyadh-based airline. Current national airline Saudia will protract to exist, but will be Jeddah-based. The airline will serve both tourists and merchantry travelers, and the goal is to wilt the size of Emirates, but in a quarter as much time. The airline will largely focus on transit passengers traveling between other countries, which might be a tough sell among many travelers, given Saudi Arabia’s reputation.

Before anyone thinks this is just a theoretical concept, this airline veritably seems to be a thing that Saudi Arabia is single-minded to. The country poached former Etihad CEO Tony Douglas to run the airline. However, there were then reports that Douglas had left without two months, though it’s still not entirely well-spoken if that’s well-judged or not. Several other key airline executives have moreover been hired by the new company.

Saudi Arabia poached former Etihad CEO Tony Douglas

Bottom line

Saudi Arabian airline startup RIA is expected to place a large watercraft order shortly. The airline will tangibly place a Boeing watercraft order worth tens of billions of dollars, including for narrow soul and wide soul aircraft. This order is expected to include 737 MAXs, 787s, and possibly plane the 777X. On top of that, there have moreover been rumors of an Airbus A350 order, though nothing has come of that just yet.

While we’ve obviously seen Gulf airlines grow over the years, the plans for RIA are truly unprecedented, as we’ve never seen such an would-be and well funded airline project. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

What do you make of RIA’s planned watercraft order?