Saudi airline aims to reach 330 million travellers by 2030
Saudi Arabia's newest airline, Riyadh Air, made its debut at the Paris Air Show this month (June 2023).
The new national airline, which will start flying in 2025, is aligned with the kingdom's tourism strategy and will fly to more than 100 destinations, with a goal to reach 330 million travellers by 2030, according to the company website.
Aviation veteran Tony Douglas who until recently ran Etihad Airways, is now CEO of the fledgling airline, which has ordered 39 Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jets to date.
Douglas stated that the airline will not be ordering any more aircraft at the Paris Air Show this year, despite reports that the airline was closing in on a deal with Airbus or Boeing. However, the airline announced on Wednesday 21 June that it would place an order for 90 GEnx-1B engines to propel its upcoming fleet. The purchase includes spare engines and a TrueChoice services package from GE Aerospace.
GE Aerospace president and CEO of commercial engines and services, Russell Stokes, said: “We are proud to partner with Riyadh Air to support its new fleet and fulfil its vision for long international routes. GE Aerospace’s GEnx engine is a perfect fit for the 787 fleet with its combination of power and the ability to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.”
Douglas is now focused on the airline's future network, competition and passenger experience. Riyadh Air is expected to add US$20 billion to non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The multi-billion-dollar company's plan is to focus on Riyadh, hoping to become a major point-to-point operator to allow more visitors to Saudi's most populated city and the one at the centre of Vision 2030.
For more information, visit www.riyadhair.com