According to confidential sources, Saudi RIA airlines plans to immediately purchase about 40 aircraft and is considering options for an additional order for the same number of aircraft. Customer requirement —aircraft should be both narrow-body — with a single aisle, and large wide-body models capable of flying over long distances.
The Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320neo-series will compete with each other in the short-haul category. But the choice for long-haul routes is even wider. It will be placed between the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the new 777X, which has not yet entered service, and its European competitors, the A350 or the upgraded A330neo with new engines.
Experts note that in the vast majority of cases, airlines order equipment from one manufacturer to streamline pilot training and maintenance issues. Therefore, it is unclear whether the Saudi RIA airlines fleet will be split between the two manufacturers as a result.