The first images of the livery of the Saudi’s newest airline, Riyadh Air, have emerged.
The airline is expected to commence operations in 2025 and is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund which is the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund.
In March, Riyadh Air announced an order of up to 72 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft as part of a multi-billion-dollar deal. It included 39 confirmed aircraft with an option to acquire 33 additional widebody 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
Tony Douglas, the former CEO of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, is now the CEO of Riyadh Air.
“By positioning the airline as both a global connector and a vehicle to drive tourist and business travel to Saudi Arabia, our new 787-9 airplanes will serve as a foundation for our worldwide operations, as we build the wider network and connect our guests to Saudi Arabia and many destinations around the world,” said Douglas at the time the announcement was made of the new aircraft purchase.
The carrier noted that the 787-9 aircraft will include “next generation digital in-flight entertainment systems and connectivity solutions.”
At the same time that Riyadh Air announced its aircraft orders, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, also ordered 39 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with an option for another 10.
In total, the two Saudi Arabian carriers therefore announced an intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners in what Boeing says was the fifth largest commercial order by value in the manufacturer’s history.
The aircraft will be designed, assembled and delivered at Boeing’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina. The deal will support nearly 100,000 direct and indirect jobs and more than 300 suppliers from across 38 states, including 145 US small businesses.
Within Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Air will operate with the country’s capital as its hub and is expected to add US$20 billion to the kingdom’s non-oil GDP growth and create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
#RiyadhAir writes a new chapter in the sky, taking technology to new heights and hospitality to a whole new level.
— Riyadh Air (@RiyadhAir) June 4, 2023
It is expected to connect to more than 100 destinations by 2030. The airline has hinted that another reveal is scheduled for later this month with a promotional video on its social media channels ending with the line, “Keep an eye on the Riyadh Sky, June 12, 2023.”