Saudi Arabia Announces Brand New Airline, Riyadh Air
Airlines Breaking Industry

Saudi Arabia Announces Brand New Airline, Riyadh Air

DALLAS – Breaking news from the Middle East today, as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, has announced the creation of a new national airline – “Riyadh Air.” 

According to media reports, the new carrier will be wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. It will serve as a gateway for connecting passengers between Asia, Africa, and Europe via the Middle East. PIF announced that Riyadh Air will be, as expected, based at the King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Riyadh, the capital and largest city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Riyadh Air Plans

“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 by increasing air transport options, raising cargo capacity, and growing international passenger traffic,” PIF stated in the press release.

It aims to offer flights to over 100 destinations worldwide by 2030 and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. This will add a massive US$20bn to the non-oil GDP of the country. 

Fleet plans remain unknown at present. However, the PIF stated that the new carrier will “acquire modern aircraft equipped with the latest technology.”

The executive and directive team will be composed of His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, as the chairman of Riyadh Air. At the same time, the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be taken by Tony Douglas, former CEO of Etihad Airways (EY), with more than 40 years of experience in the commercial aviation industry.

It is currently unknown to what extent will Riyadh Air be influenced by the current position of Saudi Arabian (SV), the flag carrier of the KSA. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

No Big Surprise

The launch of a new airline in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is no big surprise, as this topic has been widely spoken about amongst aviation organizations and aircraft manufacturers for the last few months. During the 2022 Riyadh Future Aviation Forum, Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest US$100bn in funding a new national carrier based in RUH, operating alongside national carrier Saudia (SV).

Additionally, in October of 2022, reports stated that the country was in advanced talks with aircraft manufacturer Airbus for the possible new order for 40 A350 family of aircraft units, with additional options for a further 40 airframes. 

These would be directed to “RIA Airlines”, the name initially given to the new carrier. It plans to compete with the largest Middle Eastern airlines, such as Emirates (EK), Qatar Airways (QR), or Etihad (EY).

For now, news and further information are still on their way, and Airways will focus on updating this story every minute for our readers.

Featured image: New “Riyadh Air” logo announced by the PIF. Photo: Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

You cannot copy content of this page