The new Saudi Arabia-based airline Riyadh Air’s Boeing 787-9 was spotted flying out of Portland International Airport (PDX), Oregon, the United States (US).
The sighting was made shortly after the newcomer used the same Boeing 787-9 to unveil the first of two livery designs which, according to the airline, will sport when it begins operations in early 2025.
Riyadh Air’s aircraft was spotted departing PDX, where Boeing’s painting facilities are located, to Charleston International Airport (CHS), South Carolina, US.
CHS hosts the Boeing 787 assembly line and delivery center.
Riyadh Air unveiled the livery of the aircraft on June 4, 2023, showcasing the aircraft painted in a distinct livery, which it described as “a perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and timeless elegance”.
On the same day, according to flightradar24.com data, the aircraft departed PDX to CHS. However, the aircraft departed as flight BOE581, reserved for flights operated by Boeing, and not RX, its recently acquired International Air Transport Association (IATA) flight code.
According to Tony Douglas, chief executive officer (CEO) of Riyadh Air, the carrier’s 787-9 will make an appearance at the upcoming Paris Air Show later this month at Paris–Le Bourget Airport (LBG), as reported by Air Insight.
“In fact, although Riyadh Air will not commence services in the next two years, we have planned continuous updates on what will be a whole new experience for our customers,” Douglas said.
Douglas also told FlightGlobal that a narrow-body order will be coming in “the not-too-distant future”.
Bloomberg previously reported that the Saudi Arabian carrier was looking to order at least 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with the airline aiming to buy between 300 and 400 single-aisle aircraft.
Riyadh Air was launched by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the country’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is also the chairman of the PIF, on March 12, 2023.
According to a separate announcement, the airline should receive its first aircraft, a Boeing 787-9, in early 2025. By 2030, Riyadh Air plans to fly to more than 100 destinations globally, “offering an exceptional experience with an authentic, warm Saudi hospitality at its heart”.