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Saudi Arabia Launches New National Airline – Riyadh Air

Saudi Arabia has unveiled “Riyadh Air”, a new national airline to compete with regional transport and travel hubs, making use of the kingdom’s central location between Asia, Africa and Europe

Riyadh will serve as the operational hub for the new airline, connecting the Saudi capital to more than a hundred global destinations. This ambitious project involves the acquisition of state-of-the-art aircraft equipped with the latest technology, as well as the implementation of world-class sustainability and safety practices.

“Operating from Riyadh as its hub, the airline will usher in a new era for the travel and aviation industry globally. Riyadh Air will be a world-class airline, adopting the global best sustainability and safety standards across its advanced fleet of aircraft equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology.”

Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund

The Governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, will serve as the Chairman of the new airline. Moreover, the former Etihad CEO Tony Douglas has been appointed as the CEO.

Over 100 Destinations by 2030

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, the new carrier is expected to add $20 billion to non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“Riyadh Air aims to enhance customers’ journey while connecting them to over 100 destinations around the world by 2030; through offering an exceptional experience with authentic, warm Saudi hospitality at its heart,” says Saudi Arabia PIF.

The new national carrier will complement the King Salman International Airport master plan that was unveiled in November last year.

With this announcement, Riyadh Air joins the likes of Air Astana, SN Brussels, Hongkong Express, flydubai, fly Baghdad, Bangkok Airways and more to have city branding in the airline name.

Riyadh Air aims to offer global tourists access to Saudi Arabia’s cultural and natural wonders. Furthermore, the airline’s expansion is expected to serve as a catalyst for the Saudi National Transport and Logistics Strategy and the National Tourism Strategy by improving air transport options, enhancing cargo capacity, and also fostering growth in international passenger traffic.

PIF’s decision to establish Riyadh Air is part of a broader strategy to bolster promising sectors capable of driving economic diversification in Saudi Arabia. The airline’s establishment will contribute to a more financially robust aviation ecosystem, bolstering the industry’s competitiveness worldwide in alignment with the Vision 2030 plan.

Even though more information hasn’t been revealed yet, it is anticipated that a major aircraft order will be announced soon.

Feature Image via Saudi Arabia PIF