Dubai (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is close to a deal to order Boeing commercial jets for the fleet of a new national airline, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The aircraft order is valued at $35 billion, the report said, adding that the deal could be announced as soon as Sunday during an official launch of the national airline.
The deal includes wide-body jets which are often used for long international flights, the report added.
In October, Saudi Arabia was in advanced negotiations to order almost 40 A350 jets from Airbus (AIR.PA), with Boeing Co (BA.N) also lobbying for a slice of the kingdom’s transportation expansion, industry sources had told Reuters.
The head of state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) had then told Reuters that it was in talks with Boeing and Airbus on orders both for itself and a planned new carrier, RIA.
Boeing declined to comment and the Saudi PIF did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment on the report.
The deal is part of a rapid expansion by the country under a strategy to transform the kingdom into a transport hub and promote tourism.