Saudi Arabia plans new nationwide airline because it diversifies from oil

CAIRO – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman introduced plans on Tuesday to launch a second nationwide airline as a part of a broader technique to show the dominion into a world logistics hub because it seeks to diversify from oil.

The creation of one other flag service would catapult Saudi Arabia into the fifth rank globally by way of air transit visitors, official state media reported, with out giving particulars on when and the way the airline could be created.

Prince Mohammad has been spearheading a push for Saudi Arabia, the most important Arab economic system and the biggest nation within the Gulf geographically, to spice up non-oil revenues to about 45 billion riyals ($12.00 billion) by 2030.

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Making the dominion a world logistics hub, which incorporates the event of ports, rail and highway networks, would improve the transport and logistics sector’s contribution to gross home product to 10% from 6%, state information company SPA stated.

“The great technique goals to place Saudi Arabia as a world logistics hub connecting the three continents,” Prince Mohammed was quoted as saying within the SPA report.

“This can assist different sectors like tourism, haj and umrah to realize their nationwide targets.”

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The addition of one other airline would improve the variety of worldwide locations from Saudi Arabia to greater than 250 and double air cargo capability to greater than 4.5 million tonnes, the SPA report stated.

With the present flag bearer Saudi Arabian Airways (Saudia), the dominion has one of many smallest airline networks within the area relative to its dimension. Saudia has struggled with losses for years and like international friends, has been hit arduous by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Native media reported earlier this yr that the dominion’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Funding Fund, (PIF), deliberate to construct a brand new airport in Riyadh as a part of the brand new airline launch, with out giving additional particulars.

The fund is the principle automobile for enhancing Saudi Arabian investments at dwelling and overseas because the younger prince, identified within the West as MbS, seeks to diversify the dominion’s oil-heavy economic system via his Imaginative and prescient 2030 technique.

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