The flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia has wiped its branding from its social media accounts and is now teasing a ‘new era’ for the carrier, which is set to be unveiled on Saturday evening.
Saudia hasn’t provided any further details about what exactly will be revealed this weekend, but the announcement could provide further insight into how Saudia will fit into the Kingdom’s aviation plan when Riyadh Air starts operations in little more than a year.
There has been lots of speculation that Saudia could take a backseat to Riyadh Air, which will become Saudi Arabia’s premiere international airline designed to compete against regional neighbours like Emirates and Qatar Airways and herald in a new era of tourism for the country.
If this plan is realised, the hot money is on Saudia focusing its business on so-called Umrah religious pilgrimage flights, alongside air services for religious conservatives out of its Jeddah base.
Saudia would effectively retreat from its dual base in Riyadh, although the Saudi Arabian government, which owns both airlines, might decide that there’s room for Saudia and Riyadh Air to compete against one another.
A couple of days ago, Saudia removed all branding from its social media accounts and replaced them with a single-block colour of green – considered a sacred colour in Islam.
Whether this is a significant clue remains to be seen.