Home / News / World /  Saudi Arabia launches new airline, Riyadh Air to connect 100 locations by 2030

Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of a new national airline to be led by industry veteran Tony Douglas. The new carrier aims to leverage Saudi Arabia's strategic geographic location between the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe and connect 100 destinations by 2030. The announcement was made by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz on Sunday.

The airline will bewholly-owned by the Public Investment Fund and chaired by PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan. Former Etihad Aviation Group boss Tony Douglas has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer.

The airline is expected to add $20 billion to Saudi’s non-oil growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Riyadh Air will be based out of the Saudi capital and its senior management will include Saudi and international expertise. 

Saudi Arabia’s ambitions could present a challenge for Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways - the existing major airlines in the region. The newly formed aviation company is expected to add USD 20 billion to non-oil GDP growth, and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The PIF is in talks with Boeing Co. and Airbus SE regarding orders for about 80 jets, the first aircraft purchases for a new national airline, Bloomberg reported in October. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the fund is nearing a deal for Boeing Co. jets with an order value of $35 billion.

An official statement said that Riyadh Air would acquire “modern aircraft equipped with the latest technology and will adopt world class sustainability and safety practices".

(With inputs from agencies)

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