Saudi Arabia has launched a new airline called Riyadh Air, backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The new carrier aims to boost the kingdom’s aviation sector and cater to the growing demand for air travel in the region.
Riyadh Air was officially launched in December 2021 and is set to commence operations in the first quarter of 2022. The airline will initially operate a fleet of four Airbus A320 aircraft, with plans to expand its fleet to 20 aircraft by 2025.
The new airline is expected to operate domestic and regional flights, connecting major cities within Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries. Riyadh Air will also target the growing number of tourists visiting the kingdom, offering affordable and convenient travel options.
The launch of Riyadh Air is part of the Saudi government’s efforts to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues. The country is aiming to boost its tourism sector and attract 100 million tourists annually by 2030, as part of its Vision 2030 plan.
The PIF, which is the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has been actively investing in various sectors to support economic diversification. The fund has invested in a number of high-profile companies and projects, including Uber, SoftBank, and the NEOM mega-city project.
The PIF’s investment in Riyadh Air is aimed at supporting the growth of the aviation sector in Saudi Arabia and boosting the country’s economic growth. The new airline is expected to create job opportunities and drive economic activity in the aviation and tourism sectors.
The launch of Riyadh Air comes at a time when the global aviation industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many airlines have been forced to suspend operations or reduce their fleet size to cut costs.
However, the Saudi government is confident that Riyadh Air will be successful, despite the challenging economic conditions. The kingdom has already demonstrated its resilience during the pandemic, with its economy rebounding faster than expected in 2021.
In conclusion, the launch of Riyadh Air is a significant development for Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector and its economy as a whole. The new airline is expected to create jobs, boost economic activity, and provide affordable and convenient travel options for passengers. With the support of the PIF and the government, Riyadh Air is well positioned to succeed in the highly competitive aviation industry.