Riyadh Air, the newly launched national airline of Saudi Arabia, has reached an agreement to purchase up to 72 787-9 Dreamliners from aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

The carrier will initially buy 39 787-9s, with options for another 33 jets.

This order aligns with the country’s larger strategy to transform into a global aviation hub.

The 787-9 offers the longest range in the 787 aircraft family, with the capacity to accommodate nearly 300 passengers over a distance of 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km).

In addition, Boeing’s 787 family is said to offer additional cargo capacity while lowering fuel consumption and emissions by 25% in comparison with the ones they replace.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) ordered 39 787-9 and 787-10 planes from Boeing, with options for an additional ten jets, Xinhua reported.

Together, the orders for 121 787 Dreamliners from Saudi Arabian airlines mark the fifth largest commercial order by value in the history of Boeing.

By the end of this decade, Saudi Arabia aims to serve 330 million passengers and 100 million visitors per year.  

Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas said: “The new airline reflects the ambitious vision of Saudi Arabia to be at the core of shaping the future of global air travel and be a true disrupter in terms of customer experience.

“Riyadh Air’s commitment to its customers will see the integration of digital innovation and authentic Saudi hospitality to deliver a seamless travel experience.

“By positioning the airline as both a global connector and a vehicle to drive tourist and business travel to Saudi Arabia, our new 787-9 airplanes will serve as a foundation for our worldwide operations, as we build the wider network and connect our guests to Saudi Arabia and many destinations around the world.”

Earlier this month, Hong Kong-based Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) ordered 15 737-9 airplanes to facilitate its strategy to roll out an international long-haul service.