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Riyadh Air Is Launching, and This Is How Big It's Going To Be

Another achievement for Saudi Arabia comes in the form of an airline launch. Yes, you heard that right. Meet Riyadh Air, another component of the kingdom’s strategy to convert the country into a worldwide aviation center.

To start things off, Tony Douglas will be heading the airline as Chief Executive Officer. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Douglas was the former CEO of the esteemed Etihad Airways in the United Arab Emirates.

Tony Douglas, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s RIA airline

Riyadh Air, which obsviosuly will be based in the Saudi capital, intends to link passengers from around the globe to over 100 locations by 2030. It will not only serve as a commercial brand, but will also be a linking factor for tourists to experience the cultural and natural beauty that KSA has to offer.

The first plans for the airlines consist of acquiring 39 Boeing Dreamliners. “These aircrafts are being assembled in the United States of America and they’ll be delivered to us with the kind of timetable that allows us to prepare to go into service in early 2025,” Douglas says in an online interview with the French press.

“Riyadh Air will be an international carrier, it will be a regional carrier and it will be a national carrier within obviously the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself. So we’ll touch all points within the network,” Douglas continues to explain what the airline’s plans are.

The establishment of Riyadh Air is in parallel with the goals of the PIF to enhance important sectors of the Saudi economy, promote the National Tourism Strategy, and generate fresh employment prospects. Douglas even stated that they have already received over 73,000 resumes overnight.

Moreover, the agreement is anticipated to create almost 100,000 jobs both directly and indirectly and to benefit more than 300 suppliers in 38 states in the US, including 145 small businesses.

“This is a statement of intent by the kingdom. This is about a brand of Riyadh,” Douglas says excitedly, “This is about the hub being here in the capital city. And this is about allowing the kingdom to have better connectivity to the world and, as importantly, the world to have better connectivity to the kingdom.”

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