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Updated March 2023

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision of a diversified, less-dependant-on-oil Saudi economy is being materialized through the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 initiative. Among others, the roadmap has so far revealed the ambitious Red Sea Project set to be completed sometime in 2030.

 

Most recently, the Crown Prince has announced the establishment of Riyadh Air, the Kingdom’s new national airline, poised to capitalize on the country’s unique location at the crossroads of three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe. Here’s everything we know so far about Riyadh Air. 

Riyadh Air – Saudi’s new national airline

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has announced the establishment of a new national airline, Riyadh Air. With its headquarters in the Saudi capital, the airline aims to capitalize on the country’s strategic location between three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe, to establish Riyadh as a global hub for transportation, trade, and tourism.

Chaired by His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, the airline will be led by Tony Douglas, a veteran with over 40 years of experience in the aviation, transportation, and logistics industries. The airline’s senior management team will comprise seasoned experts from Saudi Arabia and around the world, ensuring a diversity of perspectives and a wealth of experience.

The establishment of Riyadh Air is expected to usher in a new era for the travel and aviation industry globally by providing tourists from around the world with the opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia’s cultural and natural attractions. Additionally, the airline is projected to contribute an additional USD 20 billion to the non-oil GDP growth and generate over 200,000 job opportunities, both directly and indirectly.

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Riyadh Air flights and routes

Riyadh Air, Saudi’s new national airline, is set to become a major player in the aviation industry globally, as it plans to connect the Saudi capital to over 100 destinations worldwide. The airline will operate out of Riyadh, which will be its operational hub. This move aligns with the Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) mandate to enable the aviation ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

To ensure that the airline provides the best possible experience for its customers, Riyadh Air will acquire modern aircraft equipped with the latest technology. Additionally, the airline will adopt world-class sustainability and safety practices to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew while also minimizing its environmental impact.

The airline’s strategic location in Riyadh will also make it easier for tourists to access these attractions and will likely contribute to an increase in tourism in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh Air jobs

Riyadh Air is currently seeking individuals with specific qualifications to become part of their team. The Saudi-based air carrier is now providing job opportunities for particular roles, including:

  • Corporate (Senior manager and manager)
  • Operations (Mechanics, technicians, engineers, etc.)
  • Commercial & guest experience (Senior manager and manager)
  • Digital & innovation (Senior manager, manager and head of data & analytics)
  • Pilots
  • Cabin crew

For further details regarding the application process, job description, requirements, and other relevant information, please visit the Riyadh Air website.

Saudi’s USD 100 billion investment

As part of Saudi Arabia’s USD 100 billion investment in the aviation sector, the creation of the new airline, along with the establishment of its global routes, will be the main focus of the investment plan, which will culminate in 2023. With tourism being one of the core elements of the Kingdom’s economic diversification plan, the addition of a five-star flag carrier would enable Saudi Arabia to be more competitive with its regional rivals. 

Saudi Vision 2030: The Kingdom’s Ambitious Plan for a Sustainable Future

Hajj and Umrah will naturally continue to play an important role, which is why the existing national carrier, Saudia, will shift its focus to Saudi Arabia’s religious tourism sector.

Riyadh’s new airport

As part of the Vision 2030 strategy, Saudi Arabia has declared plans to build King Salman International Airport as a huge aviation hub having six parallel runways and a capacity of 120 million travellers by 2030. This new airport will subsume the current King Khaled Airport.

Funding for the project will be provided by Saudi Arabia’s PIF. The estimated value of the project is somewhere around USD 430 billion and is still in its very early stages.

The planned airport will serve as the base of operation for the new national airline while doubling the Kingdom’s cargo capacity. The aim is to transform Riyadh into one of the world’s 10 biggest city economies by 2030 and thereby doubling its population to reach the 15 million mark.

The new airport will be in direct competition with the Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport, and Doha International Airport.

 

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