Saudi Arabia is set to launch a new state-owned airline, Riyadh Air, based in the capital and aimed at flying to 100 destinations by 2030. The move comes as Persian Gulf states look to reduce their reliance on oil revenue by developing tourism.
However, the airline will face stiff competition from regional rivals, including Saudia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. Riyadh Air will be owned entirely by the government’s Public Investment Fund and will be led by former Etihad CEO Tony Douglas.
The airline’s creation is expected to boost non-oil GDP growth by $20 billion and is part of the state investment fund’s strategy to diversify the local economy by unlocking the potential of promising sectors.