Riyadh Air is a planned airline that is going to serve as a co-flag carrier for Saudi Arabia, alongside the existing flag carrier, Saudia. The airline is expected to fly internationally and connect Saudi Arabia with many different countries. 60% of the traffic coming into Saudi Arabia is from the Middle East, therefore this market is expected to be the key focus for the airline.
The airline is touted as the next mega carrier of the Gulf and is expected to launch in the 4th quarter of the year 2022. From what is known about the airline so far, it's going to be a multi-billion dollar investment backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). PIF has recently launched its own lessor as well, called AviLease. Reportedly, $30 Billion have been set aside for the airline by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The name Riyadh Air was suggested for the airline, however, the actual name of the airline will beRiyadh Air.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) plans to make Riyadh the hub of the airline which will enable the KSA to have a dual hub advantage with Saudia flying out of Jeddah already. According to sources, the airline aims to compete with the ME3 carriers of the Middle East i.e. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
The airline is a full-service network carrier and we can expect the airline to offer similar baggage allowances as provided by other network carriers
For instance, 2 pieces of checked baggage weighing up to 23 kg each can be expected in Economy class, whilst the weight allowance can be expected to increase up to 32 kg each for Business and First Class.
Similarly, for carry-on baggage, the Economy class would be allowed only a single piece per passenger, while Business Class and First Class passengers would be allowed 2 pieces of carry-on baggage per passenger. The weight allowance of the carry-on baggage is expected to be 7 kg each.
Official details regarding the airline's baggage allowance are still yet to be announced by the airline and once this information is available, we will update the page, so stay tuned!
Similar to the ME3 carriers, the airline is expected to have a full-service configuration with fare classes divided into Economy, Business Class and First Class.
Once we get further information, we will update it in due course.
Being a full-service carrier, Riyadh Air is expected to provide complimentary Food & Drinks to its customers. Business class and First Class passengers will be served meals and snacks on multiple instances.
Riyadh Air hasn't yet announced its Frequent Flyer Program.
Riyadh Air currently isn't part of any airline alliance.
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Riyadh Air will be headquartered in the capital city of KSA, Riyadh. The airline's hub will be King Khalid International Airport (RUH). RUH is considered as one of the largest airports in the world in terms of land area and the airport has been the centre of operations for KSA's existing flag carrier Saudia and its low-cost subsidiary, Flynas
The fleet planning for Riyadh Air hasn't been made official. However, according to sources, Riyadh Air plans on operating with the Boeing 737max and Airbus A320 family of aircraft.
The official routes haven't been announced by the airline yet. However, the airline is expected to operate on a hub and spoke model, the same model followed by the ME3 carriers it is lining up to compete with. In theory, if the airline is to truly compete with the ME3 carriers, the airline will need to build a vast network of routes of around 150 routes spread across the Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa. Therefore assumptions can be made that the airline will be operating in these regions in the times to come.
The KSA, through its expansion projects in the aviation sector, plans to attract 100 million tourists on yearly basis - which is six times greater than the footfall of passengers in Saudi Arabia compared to the year 2019.