Saudi national airline Riyadh Air is born
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced on Sunday the establishment of Riyadh Air, a company wholly owned by PIF. The new national airline will take advantage of Saudi Arabia's strategic geographical location between the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe, enabling Riyadh to become a gateway to the world and a global destination for transport, trade and tourism.
Riyadh Air will be chaired by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of PIF, while Tony Douglas, who brings more than 40 years of experience in the aviation, transportation and logistics industries, has been appointed CEO. The airline's senior management will include Saudi and international experience.
Operating from Riyadh as its hub, the airline will usher in a new era for the global travel and aviation industry. Riyadh Air will be a world-class airline, embracing the best global standards of sustainability and safety on its advanced fleet of aircraft equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology. The airline is expected to add $20 billion to non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of PIF, the new national airline will benefit from PIF's investment expertise and financial capabilities as it expands the company's operations to become a leading national airline. The new national airline represents PIF's latest investment in the sector, along with the recently announced King Salman International Airport master plan.
Riyadh Air aims to enhance customer travel as it connects customers to more than 100 destinations worldwide by 2030; through offering an exceptional experience with authentic and warm Saudi hospitality at its heart.
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 Saudi Arabia's National Transport and Logistics Strategy and National Tourism Strategy by increasing air transport options, increasing cargo capacity and, in turn, increasing international passenger traffic.
The establishment of Riyadh Air is part of PIF's strategy to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors that can help drive the diversification of the local economy. It will enable a more financially resilient aviation ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, supporting the industry's global competitiveness in line with Vision 2030.