Riyadh Air (RXI, Riyadh) has placed an order for an undisclosed number of narrowbody aircraft and secured delivery slots, but will only reveal its details over the coming months, chief executive Tony Douglas said during the Arabian Travel Market.

"We have a narrowbody position secured and we're already moving on to our next order after that. Order number three will be widebodies because of the scale of the network I need to operate," he said.

The nascent Saudi carrier expects to place its second widebody order by 2025.

Also speaking at the ATM, CCO Vincent Coste said Riyadh Air plans to begin ticket sales in January 2025 and launch in June. The airline aims to have ten "mostly international" destinations in its network by the end of 2025 and add around two new ones per month through the end of the decade.

Riyadh Air ordered its first batch of thirty-nine B787-9s in 2023 and has options for a further 33. It plans to operate a simple fleet comprising just two types so as to keep its overheads low.

Douglas said Riyadh Air has demanded "as much focus and special assurance as they can give to anyone" from Airbus and Boeing regarding delivery dates given it has no backup plans. As a start-up with ambitious plans to operate 200 aircraft within the first five years and serving more than 100 cities, it has to induct new aircraft at a high rate from the get-go. It has no option to extend any leases, given it does not have any aircraft while curtailing its planned network would be detrimental to its plans for a Riyadh hub.

Riyadh Air is wholly owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.