Saudi Arabia is finalizing the launch of a new multi-billion dollar international airline, likely to be called RIA.
‘Arabian Business’ reports that the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has supported the project since it was launched 12 months ago.
Sources close to the Public Investment Fund said: “RIA” will be the name of the upcoming carrier, and that once it is launched, it will become the second national carrier for Saudi Arabia.
The company’s headquarters will be in Riyadh, and the current headquarters of Saudi Airlines are in Jeddah.
The aviation sector is part of the plans of the Vision 2030 project, for which over the next eight years, $100 billion has been allocated.
The bulk of the $100 billion will be used to create a new national airline serving global routes.
The sources added: Talking here about a new airline that aims to do what Emirates Airlines did, but within a quarter of the timetable, is something unprecedented in the history of aviation.
Saudi Arabia is targeting 30 million international passengers by 2030, compared to less than four million today.
Sources indicate that this development means that the proposed carrier will eventually need to have more than 150 destinations around the world.
It is to have subsidiaries across Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia, which requires an investment of $30 billion.
It is worth noting that at present, about 60% of the total air traffic to Saudi Arabia comes from the Middle East.
Asia-Pacific’s share of air traffic is about 20%, Africa only 10% – this is where the huge potential is.