The most-awaited new airline in the region launched by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund might be named “RIA”, according to a new report.
Arabian Business quoted well informed sources that “RIA” is being tipped as the name for the new Saudi carrier.
The new multi-billion-dollar international airline will become Saudi Arabia’s second national carrier and will be based in Riyadh. Saudia, the present national carrier, operates from Jeddah.
“The brand-new airline aims to do what Emirates did in a quarter of the timescale. It’s unprecedented in the history of aviation. The airline has yet to appoint a CEO – whoever takes the job will have to deliver the most ambitious targets you can imagine,” the report said.
The Kingdom is targeting 30 million international transit passengers by 2030, compared to under four million currently. The report suggests this will mean the new carrier will eventually need to operate over 150 routes globally, across Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia, which necessitates a $30 billion investment.
“Currently, about 60 percent of all air traffic into Saudi Arabia comes from the Middle East. Asia-Pacific is around 20 percent, Africa is just 10 percent – this is where the huge potential is,” sources said.
Last May, Saudi Arabia announced an aviation strategy targeting 250 direct destinations, tripling traffic and the creation of a new carrier.
The introduction of a new airline, which will operate alongside the national carrier Saudia formerly Saudi Arabian Airlines — will play a major role in the government’s plan to diversify its economy, boost tourism and reduce reliance on oil.