Saudia to become first operational carrier at Red Sea International Airport in landmark deal

Destination will comprise 50 resorts by 2030
Saudia to become first operational carrier at Red Sea International Airport in landmark deal
From the signing ceremony- Courtesy of RSG LinkedIn

The former Saudi national carrier Saudi Arabia Airlines, now known as Saudia, is set to become the first airline to operate at the Red Sea International Airport (RSI).

A press release said that mega-developer Red Sea Global has concluded a deal allowing Saudia and daa International, the operator of RSI, to begin regular scheduled services upon completion of the first phase of the airport.

RSI is on track to open in 2023 in time for the launch of the first three resorts at the destination. Initially, it will operate internally for domestic flights to and from Riyadh and later Jeddah. In 2024, RSI will expand to handle international flights.

“When the first commercial flight lands at Red Sea International, it won’t just be a point of personal pride for Red Sea Global. It will be a milestone moment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in making that vision a reality,” said RSG Global CEO John Pagano in the statement.

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“As wings of Vision 2030, Saudia’s contribution is to be an enabler in attaining giga-projects targets, and our involvement as the first airline to operate from and to Red Sea International Airport is a source of pride for us all,” said Ibrahim Koshy, CEO, Saudia.

He added: “This agreement will strengthen our position in the Kingdom and allow us to collaborate with RSG and daa International to boost tourism and enhance the country’s standing within international aviation.”

Lower carbon efforts

The RSI agreement also seeks to combine efforts by three organizations to conduct joint research on using lower-carbon and sustainable aviation fuel at RSI.

This is in addition to airport plans to deploy electric vertical takeoff and landing planes (eVTOLs) to cut carbon emissions.

“Red Sea International is a new gateway for travelers to experience the wonders of Saudi Arabia. Bringing our unmatched airport management expertise, we will work with RSG and Saudia to ensure RSI delivers a truly unique experience for all who pass through it,” said Nicholas Cole, CEO of Daa International.

The landmark agreement between Saudia, RSI, and daa International paves the way for sustainable aviation practices towards environmental preservation in the aviation sector.

Resorts at Red Sea

Following the opening ot three resorts at The Red Sea destination when the first phase of RSI is built, 13 more hotels will open. Upon full completion of RSI in 2030, the destination will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, F&B, and leisure facilities.

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