Expect to fly on Saudi Arabia's new airline very soon

It’s part of a wider plan to see Saudi Arabia connected to 250 destinations…

Boarding passes at the ready! Last summer Saudi Arabia unveiled plans for a second national airline, and you can expect to be jetting off on it very soon. That’s according to Mohammed Alkhuraisi, vice president of strategy and business intelligence at Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). Speaking to The National this week at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK, Mr Alkhuraisi told the publication that “I know it’s going to fly very soon.”

While extensive details remain under wraps for now, the new airline will become the second national airline of Saudi Arabia, alongside Saudia. The launch of a second national airline is part of the wider Vision 2030 strategy, which Mr Alkhuraisi said “can be enabled by strong aviation.”

“We want to attract 100 million tourists by 2030, and need to ensure you have the right capacity,” he added.

Alongside a new airline of its own, Saudi Arabia is planning to welcome more airlines in the near future to operate in and out of the Kingdom. Speaking this week in the UK, the aviation official added that in order to attract more airlines to the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia is “reducing airport charges for all airlines coming to the kingdom by between 10 and 35 per cent.”

Back in May, officials in Saudi Arabia unveiled a new aviation strategy that will see the development of existing airports to improve transport in the Kingdom, as well as the construction of two major airports in Riyadh and Jeddah, with capacity to handle 100 million passengers each. The aviation strategy is also set to increase the number of destinations offered from the Kingdom’s airports from 100 to 250 by 2030.

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