National airline Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) has expanded its fleet with the delivery of the first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner jet.

The aircraft was welcomed at the new Terminal 1 of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The fuel-efficient jet will complement SAUDIA’s 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, which is already in operation.

The airline operates 13 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and 33 777-300 Extended Range (ER) jets in its fleet.

SAUDIA director-general Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said: “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, is now adding the 787-10 variant, which will further support future network growth plans.

“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.”

Since entering service last year, over 30 787-10 Dreamliners have been delivered to seven operators.

Compared to the aircraft it replaces, the new 787-10 features 40 additional seats in a two-class layout and offers 25% improved fuel per seat, as well as lower emissions. The aircraft has a range of 6,345 nautical miles.

Boeing commercial sales and marketing senior vice-president Ihssane Mounir said: “The addition of the 787-10 to SAUDIA’s fleet will continue the superior inflight experience that passengers have come to expect of the Dreamliner.

“Moreover, the unmatched fuel efficiency of the 787 will help SAUDIA open new routes and achieve significant fuel savings and emission reduction.”