Saudi Arabia announced Sunday the creation of a new national airline, part of a plan to turn Riyadh into a global aviation hub rivalling regional leaders like Dubai and Doha.
Riyadh Air aims to launch flights to more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030, the official Saudi Press Agency SPA reported.
Tony Douglas, former head of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, has been appointed CEO.
The Gulf kingdom is pursuing ambitious aviation goals as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s wide-ranging Vision 2030 reform agenda, including more than tripling annual traffic to 330 million passengers by the end of the decade.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund that will own the airline, was close to a deal with Boeing for an aircraft order valued at 35 billion. The kingdoms busiest international airport is currently in the Red Sea coastal city of Jedediah, where flag carrier Saudi is based.
The capital currently has around eight million people, but expecting population to grow to 15-20 million by 2030.
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