The new airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was launched on Sunday 12 March. Its CEO is Tony Douglas and the aircraft orders will be coming in soon. Riyadh Air is aiming for more than 100 destinations by 2030.
Riyadh Air carried by the public sovereign wealth fund
The one that has been carrying the temporary name of RIA for several months now has its own: Riyadh Air. Its creation is part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's ambition to triple air traffic to and from the country to 330 million passengers by the end of the decade. Based at Riyadh airport, the new airline aims to have a network of over 100 destinations by 2030. The development of the network will be accompanied by the development of the airport. The airport will be able to accommodate 120 million passengers by 2030 and 185 million by 2050. This new and very ambitious player is driven by the sovereign public investment fund (PIF) whose resources are colossal.
Chief Executive Officer: Tony Douglas who comes from Etihad Airways
The chairman of the board of Riyadh Air is therefore logically the "governor" of the fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. The CEO is Tony Douglas who is far from being an unknown in the world of air transport and aircraft manufacturing as he was notably CEO of Etihad Airways from 2018 to 2022. Tony Douglas began his career at British Aerospace before joining the airport company BAA, where he was chain of suppliers manager, then technical director before becoming more directly involved in the operational life of an airport as director of London/Heathrow Terminal 5 before becoming managing director of Heathrow Airport. In short, Tony Douglas knows the air transport chain inside out.
Aircraft orders to come very quickly
With regard to the stated ambitions and the announced timetable, by 2030, Riyadh Air's aircraft needs are therefore as colossal as the financial means made available to it. At least 200 aircraft. And Boeing would already be the beneficiary of a first tranche that Air Current estimates at 100.
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