BOEING HAS delivered an initial 787-10 to Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), making the Middle Eastern carrier the eighth operator of the largest Dreamliner variant. Registered as HZ-AR24 (c/n 40050), the widebody, equipped with a pair of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, represents one of the largest aircraft in the company’s mainline fleet. The national carrier has been a 787 user since January 2016 and currently flies 13 examples of the smaller 207ft (63m) long 787-9 model.
Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, the airline’s director general, commented: “Saudia operates a state-of-the-art fleet equipped with the latest technology, and in addition to the airline’s existing Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, the 787-10 variant will further support future network growth plans. The aeroplane’s onboard cabin features, long-range capability and the latest in technological advancements are among the many aspects of what makes the Boeing 787 highly popular with our guests.”
Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, added: “Saudia has been a valued partner with Boeing for nearly 75 years and this delivery marks another major milestone in our partnership. Our team takes great pride in building and delivering quality aircraft to Saudia and we are honoured by the continuing confidence in the 787 Dreamliner and 777 families.”
Boeing claims that since the airliner entered service in 2011, it has “enabled the opening of more than 235 new point-to-point routes and saved more than 40bn pounds of fuel”. Quite how many of these new pairings are directly attributable to the 787 is up for debate, however there is little doubt that the aircraft is stimulating links that may have previously been overlooked.
To date, the Chicago-based manufacturer has handed over 38 787-10s to Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, United Airlines, EVA Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Vietnam Airlines in addition to Saudia. (Photo Boeing)