New Saudi national carrier ‘RIA’ to launch with $30 bn investments

As part of country’s $100 bln bet on tourism
New Saudi national carrier ‘RIA’ to launch with $30 bn investments
Plane in the airport terminal

Saudi is nearing completion on the launch of its multibillion-dollar new international airline, which will be branded RIA.

The Kingdom has been working on the launch for the past 12 months, with the new venture backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). 

Once launched, the new carrier will become Saudi’s second national carrier, based out of Riyadh. The current SAUDIA operates from Jeddah

Part of the country’s Vision 2030 is a $100 billion investment in the aviation sector over the next eight years, the bulk of which will go towards establishing a new national carrier serving global routes.

Saudi is targeting 30 million international transit passengers by 2030, compared to under four million currently. 

The new carrier will eventually need to operate over 150 routes globally, across Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia, which necessitates a $30 billion investment. Emirates currently flies to 158 destinations in 85 countries.

Right now, about 60 percent of all air traffic into Saudi comes from the Middle East. Asia-Pacific is around 20 percent, Africa just 10 percent. 

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