Riyadh Air: Saudi Arabia to launch new national airline with ex-Etihad boss as CEO

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Saudi Arabia will launch a new national airline with former Etihad CEO Tony Douglas as chief executive, the Saudi Press Agency reported Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as announcing on Sunday.

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The new carrier will be called ‘Riyadh Air,’ and aims to improve connectivity between the Kingdom and the three continents it straddles: Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The airline is expected to add $20 billion to non-oil GDP growth, and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said in a statement.

It is due to serve more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030.

Riyadh Air will be based in the capital and is wholly-owned by the PIF.

Yasser bin Othman al-Rumayyan, Public Investment Fund Governor, will chair the company’s board of directors.

The airline’s senior management will include both Saudis and international employees.

The announcement follows the unveiling of a masterplan in November 2022 for a major new airport in Riyadh, the King Salman International Airport.

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