On air // The new Saudi national airline targets 150 destinations around the world, which is enough to compete with its Gulf competitor Emirates Airline or Qatar Airways. The cost of this launch: $ 35 billion. By Bernard Deitch
The Gulf states have long recognized that the airline is a strategic and communication tool to meet the challenges of political and economic power in the region.
The company, which will be headed by Tony Douglas, like its Arab competitors, aims to open 100 destinations from Riyadh and make it the most important center between the world towards golf, Asia, Africa and Oceania. The company has been positioned from the outset at the top of the pack like its very big sisters in the Gulf.
For this, Mohammed bin Salman provides the means:
Airplanes, Infrastructure, and the Men (Tony Douglas, Ex-President of the Union Airlines
We’re already talking about a huge $35 billion order which should basically benefit Boeing with all catalog ranges and the aircraft leasing company Avialease (which belongs to the Saudi fund)
This initiative will benefit the economy and, according to the authorities, will encourage the establishment of many foreign companies in the region.
Indeed the city Riyadh (the economic capital of the country) has been an open-air construction site for several years with the construction of offices, luxury residential buildings and above all the expansion of Riyadh Airport to be able to triple its capacity by 2050.
The Kingdom intends to create an additional 200,000 jobs, and above all 20 billion additional GDP by 2030.
At the same time, Arabia also desires to develop cultural, regional and upscale tourism such as Al-Ula and Al-Hijrah, beyond the purely regional clientele, where a few foreign hotel groups have settled…with some royal subsidies.
Existing company Saudi ArabiaIt will be relegated to the rank of a regional airline with an operational base in Jeddah for flights to Europe and the Gulf countries.
More than just launching an airline, this project aims for Saudi Arabia to become the unavoidable powerhouse in the region ahead of Qatar, the Emirates and, of course, Iran.
History will tell Mohammed bin Salman If its petrodollars will allow it to compete with its direct competitor Emirates Airline, which Etihad has not succeeded in getting rid of.