Airbus or Boeing: Riyadh Air has not finished its races

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The young Saudi airline Riyadh Airways is negotiating with Airbus and Boeing a substantial order for medium-haul A320neo or 737 MAX families.

150 to 200 medium-haul Airbus or Boeing for Riyadh Air

The young airline Riyadh Air has entered the home stretch of its negotiations with Airbus and Boeing for a substantial future order for medium-haul A320neo or 737 MAX families. The carrier has expressed a need for 400 aircraft, options included. The share of firm purchases would concern 150 to 200 aircraft.

A choice that has already been made?

If the order for wide-body aircraft left no space for Airbus, we could perhaps expect dual-source purchases for medium-haul aircraft, given the overall volume. But, not sure. Airbus’ order book is such that the planes, particularly the A321neo, would not be available within the timetable set by Riyadh Air. As a result, the latter could well choose the Boeing 737 MAX. Without excluding European medium-haul. โ€œWe are in the final stages of a large medium-haul order but this will not necessarily be our last order,โ€ said Tony Douglas, Managing Director of Riyadh Air, during the World Aviation Festival which was held in Lisbon.

Boeing 787 for long-haul

In the meantime, the order for long-haul flights has left no room for the Airbus A350, nor even for the engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. An order placed at the same time as that of Saudia Airlines for a total of 121 Boeing 787s, options included. The press release from United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken then clearly announced that the Boeing 787s ordered will all be powered by GE Aerospace GEnx.

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