Saudi Crown Prince announces new national airline

It is set to fly to over 100 destinations by 2030, and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs

By Web Desk

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Photo: AFP file
Photo: AFP file

Published: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 3:21 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Mar 2023, 6:37 PM

A new national airline will be established in Saudi Arabia, announced the Kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Riyadh Air will be a PIF-owned company, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The new carrier will be chaired by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF. The airline’s senior management will include Saudi and international expertise, SPA reported.

Tony Douglas, who brings more than 40 years of experience in the aviation, transportation and logistics industries, has been appointed CEO. Douglas led UAE-based airline Etihad between January 2018 and October 2022.

The eponymous Saudi capital will be the airline's hub, leveraging the country's geographical position to increase connectivity for passengers to over 100 destinations by 2030. Riyadh Air is set to be a 'world-class airline', and is expected to add $20 billion to non-oil GDP growth, and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The airline will provide tourists from around the world the opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia’s cultural and natural attractions. Riyadh Air will also serve as a catalyst for the Saudi National Transport and Logistics Strategy and the National Tourism Strategy by increasing air transport options, raising cargo capacity and, in turn, growing international passenger traffic.

The establishment of Riyadh Air is part of PIF’s strategy to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors that can help drive the diversification of the local economy. It also supports the Saudi aviation industry’s global competitiveness in line with Vision 2030.


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