In its latest large order over the past few months, Boeing (NYSE:BA) on Tuesday said it had reached a deal with Saudi Arabia to sell 78 of its 787 Dreamliner planes to two of the country's airlines.
The order, which has been the subject of speculation for weeks, includes 39 787 Dreamlines for Saudia as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman revives the country's flag carrier and 39 for its new national airline, Riyadh Air.
Saudia will have a top-up option to purchase another 10, while Riyadh Air, formally announced on Sunday, will have the opportunity to buy 33 more.
Riyadh Air, owned by the country's sovereign wealth fund, will be overseen by longtime industry veteran and former CEO of Etihad Airways, Tony Douglas as chief executive. The carrier said it aims to connect over 100 destinations worldwide by 2030 as part of broader efforts by Saudia Arabia to push tourism in the region.
In a statement, the director general of Saudia Group, Ibrahim Al-Omar, said,
"Saudia continues its expansion efforts in all aspects of the airline, whether it's introducing new destinations or increasing the aircraft fleet."
Ties between the US and Saudi Arabia hit a low last year over oil policy. However, country officials are working together to repair relations while the crown prince's broader campaign focuses on diversifying its economy and making it less reliant on oil.
Typically reporting monthly orders and deliveries on its commercial website mid-month, Boeing said Tuesday it delivered 28 aircraft in February, including 25 737 MAX jets, down from 38 deliveries the previous month amid supply woes.
While analysts somewhat expected the drop-off in deliveries as Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West earlier estimated MAX deliveries in the "low 20s" for February, things became more complicated after Boeing discovered a data analysis error that led the Federal Aviation Administration to pause deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner on 23 Feb.
Last month, Boeing delivered a single 787 to United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), down from three Dreamlines in January.
The stock was down 2.3% in premarket trading Wednesday.
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