Princess Reema praises Boeing-Saudi deal marking ‘new era of engagement’

The agreement for Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is worth $37 bln

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Boeing and Saudi Arabia on Friday celebrated the recent landmark deal signed earlier this year, with Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington saying it represented a “new era of engagement.”

US and Saudi officials and representatives of the US planemaker gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, to meet with the Boeing team that will manufacture the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft agreed in the $37 billion deal.

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“In just a few years, your planes will be carrying millions of tourists to the Kingdom, many for the very first time, creating special bonds that will bring our nations, our cultures, closer together,” Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar said.

The deal will see Saudi Arabia acquire 121 787 Dreamliners equipped with General Electric engines if it exercises an option to buy 43 planes after the initial 78.

If all 121 aircraft are purchased, the deal will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, according to the White House.

Princess Reema bint Bandar praised the deal, “which will propel [the Kingdom] into a global logistics hub & generate 200.000 direct & indirect Saudi jobs & countless opportunities in trade, tourism.”

A chunk of the Boeing planes will go to Saudi Arabia’s newly launched airline, Riyadh Air, as well as to Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA).

“This milestone symbolizes the bright future of our cooperation and represents a new era of engagement,” Princess Reema said in a tweet, adding that Saudi Arabia was proud to partner with US companies for a more prosperous and secure future for the Kingdom and the Middle East.

“As KSA strives to implement Vision 2030, we reaffirm our 80-year bond with the US and consider American companies to be vital in this journey,” she said.

On Friday, others in attendance included: Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun, Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas, and Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) CEO Captain Ibrahim Al Koshy.

Read more: Ties between US, Saudi Arabia improving despite recent China-backed deal with Iran