HRH Ambassador Reema Bandar Al Saud Visits Boeing Facility in South Carolina
Her Royal Highness Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, visited Boeing’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina today to meet with David Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Boeing company, and the wider team at Boeing, to celebrate the recent agreements between the Kingdom and Boeing to purchase up to 121 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for both the new world-class and digitally led airline, Riyadh Air, and the Saudi Arabian flag carrier, SAUDIA. The agreements constitute the fifth largest commercial order by value in Boeing’s history.
Riyadh Air, a new Saudi airline owned by the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund (PIF) with advanced fleet of aircrafts will be equipped with the latest modern technologies aiming to lead the aviation industry, is expected to contribute $20 billion growth in non-oil GDP and create over 200,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia, directly and indirectly. The agreement will also help create more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. and benefit over 300 suppliers from 38 different states.
Her Royal Highness the Ambassador, along with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, CEO of Riyadh Air Tony Douglas, and CEO of Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) Ibrahim Al Koshy, met with Boeing leadership and employees and toured the facilities. Her Royal Highness was briefed on the manufacturing and assembly process, she thanked the Boeing team for their efforts, and emphasized the deep historical roots of Saudi US commercial ties: “In 1945, an American World War Two veteran, Captain Joe Grant, flew a Douglas DC-airplane, built in the United States, to Saudi Arabia. The plane was a personal gift from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to my great-grandfather, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia. This special gift and symbol of friendship marked the beginning of Saudi aviation and was the plane that launched our first national airline.”
“Today, the friendship and partnership that began eight decades ago between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz continues to thrive, grow, and deepen.” She added.
Her Royal Highness the Ambassador underlined the significance of this agreement, stressing that “In just a few years time, 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.”