Saudi Arabia planning to buy up to 121 Boeing jets

MIAA Media Affairs Division via AP

Saudi Arabia has agreed to purchase up to 121 airplanes from Boeing, a second major foreign deal for the manufacturer in recent weeks that is being praised by the Biden administration.

The deal, valued at nearly $37 billion, will include the purchase of 78 jetliners and the option to acquire 43 more — a major boost to the U.S. airplane manufacturing industry.

The aircraft will be split between Saudia, the country’s flag-carrier, and a new airline called Riyadh Air. The White House touted the deal as a boon to American manufacturing.

“In a period of weeks, Boeing has closed two of its largest transactions in the history of the company,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “Together, these deals will support over one million American jobs in the aerospace supply chain across 44 states.”

U.S. officials said the deal was closed after years of discussions between Boeing and Saudi Arabia, with American government officials also involved.

“These deals, valued at nearly $37 billion, follow years of discussions, including engagement by U.S. officials,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia announced the creation of the new national airline Riyadh Air last weekend, operating from the Saudi capital as part of a push to connect the city to more than 100 destinations by 2030.

“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,” the airline’s CEO, Tony Douglas, said in a statement after the deal was announced.

The latest deal comes after Boeing last month closed a deal with Air India to buy 220 planes from the company. That deal was valued at $34 billion.

Tags Antony Blinken Biden Boeing Karine Jean-Pierre saudi arabia Saudia

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