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Saudi Arabia Launches New National Airline, “Riyadh Air”

Saudi Arabia has introduced a new national airline named “Riyadh Air” with the aim of competing with other regional transportation and travel hubs. The kingdom’s strategic location between Asia, Africa, and Europe is being leveraged to establish this new airline.

The new airline will use Riyadh as its operational hub, linking the Saudi capital to over a hundred destinations worldwide. This ambitious initiative includes procuring cutting-edge aircraft fitted with the most up-to-date technology, as well as adopting top-tier sustainability and safety protocols.

“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

His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the Governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), will assume the role of Chairman for the new airline. Additionally, Tony Douglas, the former CEO of Etihad, has been selected to serve as the CEO.

“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 recently established national airline will supplement the King Salman International Airport’s master plan, which was disclosed in November of last year.

Read more: Saudi Arabia’s New Mega Airport: The King Salman International Airport

The announcement of Riyadh Air’s establishment places it among other airlines like Air Astana, SN Brussels, Hongkong Express, flydubai, fly Baghdad, and Bangkok Airways, all of which feature a city name in their branding.

Riyadh Air’s goal is to provide international visitors with access to Saudi Arabia’s cultural and natural attractions. Additionally, the airline’s expansion is expected to act as a catalyst for the Saudi National Transport and Logistics Strategy and the National Tourism Strategy by improving air transport options, increasing cargo capacity, and encouraging growth in international passenger traffic.

PIF’s decision to create Riyadh Air is part of a larger strategy to strengthen promising sectors that can fuel economic diversification in Saudi Arabia. The establishment of the airline will contribute to a more financially resilient aviation ecosystem, boosting the industry’s global competitiveness in line with the Vision 2030 plan.

Although further details have yet to be announced, it is expected that a significant aircraft order will be revealed in the near future, providing further insight into Riyadh Air’s ambitious plans for growth and development.

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