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Riyadh Air: Saudi Arabia’s Newest Airline in the Saudi’s Sky for the First Time

Yesterday marked a historic day for Saudi Arabia as thousands of residents and visitors witnessed the inaugural flight of Riyadh Air, the nation’s newest airline. With its striking purple hue, Riyadh Air represents yet another monumental project in the rapidly advancing travel and tourism sector of the kingdom.

Riyadh Air With Saudi Hawks – video: RIYADH AIR

A New Chapter in Global Aviation

Riyadh Air
Photo: RIYADH AIR

Riyadh Air represents the next milestone in the kingdom’s rapid development of travel and tourism. Watching the first plane ascend into the sky with enthusiasm was Tony Douglas, Riyadh Air’s CEO, alongside Princess Haifa Al Saud, the Saudi Vice Minister of Tourism. Operations for Saudi Arabia’s latest carrier, Riyadh Air, are slated to start in 2025.

Just a few days prior, Riyadh Air unveiled its striking colors and logos. Their inaugural flight marked another significant achievement for Saudi Arabia, a country known for its prominent position in global aviation.

Riyadh Air: Future Global Aviation Hub

Riyadh Air
Photo: RIYADH AIR

The strategic location of Saudi Arabia will allow Riyadh Air to make Riyadh a global airline hub, connecting east and west, north and south. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, donned in the airline’s distinctive purple livery, unveiled a mesmerizing palette of lavender and indigo colors over Riyadh.

Taking off at approximately 1 PM local time, the flight embarked on a cruise from Boulevard Riyadh City to Al Murabba. Flying past iconic landmarks like the King Abdullah Financial District, the King Khalid Grand Mosque, the towering Kingdom Centre, and the impressive Al Faisaliah Tower, Riyadh Air made a grand statement.

Riyadh Air: A Vision Turned Reality

Riyadh Air
Photo: RIYADH AIR

The inception of Riyadh Air, announced in March 2023 by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, symbolizes the aspirations of the nation’s expanding travel and tourism industry. The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, owns the airline.

Riyadh Air’s entrance could reshape the aviation landscape, fostering robust competition for neighboring countries like the UAE and Qatar, homes to major carriers Emirates, Ethiad, and Qatar Airways, respectively.

Riyadh Air’s leadership will include Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and CEO Tony Douglas, a seasoned professional with over 40 years of experience in aviation, transportation, and logistics. This Dream team, comprising both Saudi and international experts, is set to steer Riyadh Air towards new horizons.

Riyadh Air Team
Photo: RIYADH AIR

Looking forward, we can expect Riyadh Air to innovate and introduce a fresh perspective in global aviation. Riyadh Air’s unique “canopy twist” design, displayed prominently on the rear fuselage, symbolizes the harmony between Saudi Arabia’s rich local culture and modern global outlook.

How do you think the addition of Riyadh Air will transform the aviation landscape in the Middle East? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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