Saudi Arabia

Saudi’s Riyadh Air Unveils Airline’s First Plane

Saudi Arabia’s new national airline, Riyadh Air, which was announced in March 2023 by the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, has unveiled the first of the two liveries.

Taking to Instagram the airline wrote: “We are delighted to unveil the first of two Riyadh Air livery designs, a perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and timeless elegance.” It’s not entirely clear yet if the airline plans to have a fleet with two different kinds of liveries, or if the airline is deciding between the designs.

Riyadh Air’s announcement surprised the aviation industry, so its unveiling of the stunning liveries is described as “a perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and timeless elegance.” The livery is being shown off on a Boeing 787-9. According to reports, the airline will also showcase the new livery at Boeing 787 on the static display of the Paris air show later this month.

The airline’s new design will easily stand out with its vibrant purple and blue colour scheme, complemented by sleek streaks of lines on the rear of the aircraft body. RIYADH AIR is written in big letters across the fuselage in white, and the carrier’s logo is on the tail and engines.

Flightglobal reported that the Saudi start-up has secured the ‘RX’ airline designator code from IATA. Riyadh Air will serve more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030, making use of the Kingdom’s location between Asia, Africa and Europe, state news agency SPA said.

According to reports, the company is set to receive the first wide-body aircraft and launch its first international flight in early 2025. The national carrier is yet to announce its aircraft orders, but the new CEO noted that the order will be “substantial and will reflect Riyadh Air’s ambitions.”

In October, Saudi Arabia was in advanced negotiations to order almost 40 A350 jets from Airbus, with Boeing also lobbying for a slice of the kingdom’s transportation expansion, industry sources had told Reuters.

The head of state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) told sources at the time that it was in talks with Boeing and Airbus on orders both for itself and a planned new carrier. The new airline is expected to add $20 billion to Saudi Arabia’s non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 jobs both directly and indirectly, it said.

Riyadh Air is wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has more than $600 billion in assets and is the main driver of the kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy and wean itself off oil.


Khaleej Times

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