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March 21, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Saudis Open Talks With Aircraft Makers: Saudi Arabia's national airline, Saudia, started separate discussions with Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corp. on its planned purchase of about 50 American aircraft worth $6 billion. An Arab industry expert predicted the talks, held at the Red Sea port of Jeddah, could be long and tough to get the best possible deal for Saudia. Details of the agreement, including the share between Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, financing, numbers of aircraft and delivery schedules, are to be negotiated. A buoyant President Clinton announced last month that Riyadh had awarded American aircraft makers an order for at least 50 planes. The news shocked European makers, who had lobbied for months to gain a share of the deal.

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