Watch Saudi Arabia Flying High with New National Airline – Latest News
As the world takes to the skies in the wake of three years of coronavirus upset, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is looking to capitalise on the return to growth of the international travel industry.
To that end Reuters reports he announced Sunday the creation of a new national airline, Riyadh Air, with industry veteran Tony Douglas as its chief executive, as the kingdom moves to compete with regional transport and travel hubs.
The new international carrier will serve more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030, making use of the kingdom’s location between Asia, Africa and Europe, state news agency SPA said.
It is thought Riyadh Air will be headquartered at King Khaled International airport in the capital Riyadh.
The Reuters report outlines Riyadh Air is expected to add $20 billion to Saudi Arabia’s non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.
The announcement may lead to a tougher battle for passengers, going head-to-head with regional giants Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic.
Riyadh Air is wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has more than $600 billion in assets and is the main driver of the kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy and wean itself off oil.
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