The flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudia, will have to wait for a little longer to receive its fifth Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The stretched version of the Boeing 787-9 was due to be delivered to Saudia yesterday but suffered a mechanical problem.
As the plane was preparing for takeoff at Charleston International Airport (CHS), a mechanical issue left it stranded on an active runway. After sitting idle for around 45 minutes, the aircraft, registration number HZ-AR28, had to have Boeing send a tug to bring the plane back to the hangar.
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Saudia has more 787-10s on order
The aircraft was set to complement Saudia’s other four Boeing 787-10s that it had already received since last September. Aside from HZ-AR28, Saudia has eight further 787-10s on order with the Chicago-headquartered planemaker.
Broken airplane. Saudia’s 5th 787-10 HZ-AR28 was set to be delivered today, however a mechanical issue caused it to be stranded on an active runway at CHS. About 45 minutes after sitting on the runway Boeing managed to tug the aircraft off the runway and back to Boeing SC. Yikes pic.twitter.com/GuESTAsTvt
— Devin | Charleston Spotter (@BoeingSCSpotter) October 12, 2020
When taking delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner at the new Terminal 1 building at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) on September 30, 2019, Saudia director-general Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser is quoted by Arabian Business as saying,
“The airplane’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.”
Powered by two General Electric GEnx engines, the popular 787-9 Dreamliner’s extended version adds another 40 seats to the jet. Saudia has opted for a two-class configuration with 24 seats in business class and 333 in economy class. With a range of 6,345 nautical miles (11,750 kilometers), the Boeing 787-10 can fly to more than 95% of the world’s airports that handle twin-aisle planes.
Boeing and Saudia have a long relationship
When speaking about Boeing’s relationship with Saudia, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing for Boeing, Ihssane Mounir, said,
“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 honored by the continuing confidence in the 787 Dreamliner and 777 families.”
Boeing and Saudia have a relationship that stretches back 75 years. As well as Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Saudia also has eight Boeing 747s and 39 Boeing 777s, of which four are the freight version.
Other planes in Saudia’s fleet, according to Planespotters.net, include the following:
- 46 Airbus A320-200s
- 15 Airbus A321-200s
- 32 Airbus A330-300s
Saudi Arabia is now open to tourists
Saudia hopes that once travel returns to normal levels following the current COVID-19 crisis, it will serve tourists visiting the Kingdom. Last September, to lessen its dependence on oil Saudi Arabia opened up its doors to international tourists.
Before this, the Kingdom only issued visas to pilgrims, business people, and expatriate workers. Under the plan, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, tourists from 49 countries will be able to visit Saudi Arabia and its five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.