In the last few hours, a brand new entrant to the airline industry has emerged out of Saudi Arabia. Say hello to Riyadh Air!
This carrier has come off the back of the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), with this new airline expected to enter the spotlight for some time.
Without further ado, let’s get into it…
Introducing Riyadh Air: Saudi Arabia’s Brand New Airline…
Riyadh Air of Saudi Arabia will be chaired by His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, with ex-Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas expected to take a role within the leadership program.
As it’s in the name, this airline’s main base of operations will be from Riyadh itself, with this expected to create more than 200,000 direct & indirect jobs.
Riyadh Air is also expected to add $20bn to non-oil GDP growth as well, which is something Middle Eastern states have been looking at pursuing.
By 2030, the carrier is expected to operate over 100 destinations around the world 2030, bringing together further connectivity within Saudi Arabia.
Another Customer for Boeing?
Reports from The Wall Street Journal indicate that Boeing is set to benefit from this new carrier beginning operations.
It is understood that a $35bn aircraft order is going to be placed for Riyadh Air, which makes a lot of sense given the carrier’s plan for 100 destinations by 2030.
The Saudi Arabia-based airline will need the infrastructure to serve those destinations, and Boeing’s current backlog and delivery dates probably fall in line with the overall strategy of the carrier.
The WSJ article didn’t indicate whether Airbus would get any piece of the pie.
More To Follow in the Weeks Ahead…
It remains clear that more will follow in the coming weeks for Riyadh Air, as well as for the overall expansion of Saudi Arabia’s PIF.
By the nature of today’s announcement, it looks like Saudia and Riyadh Air will work hand-in-hand to promote as much global connectivity as possible.
This will no doubt apply pressure on the likes of Emirates, Etihad Airways & Qatar Airways, of which the connection market is its bread and butter.
But for now, this news does represent a significant move for Saudi Arabia, and all eyes will be on Riyadh Air in the coming weeks to see what the nature of the $35bn aircraft order with Boeing will look like.