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Saudi Arabia to launch new airline ‘RIA’ with $30bn war chest to rival Emirates

The Middle Eastern nation is currently making efforts to reduce its dependence on oil revenue and now it is concentrating on establishing other sources of income

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Saudi Arabia is a nation well renowned for its wealth derived from oil. The Middle Eastern nation is currently making efforts to reduce its dependence on oil revenue and now it is concentrating on establishing other sources of income to have a relatively independent economy.

Reports indicate that, in order to increase tourism in the area, the nation suggested launching a new airline in June 2022. Expectations for the debut of a new airline have now been further raised by reports about the carrier’s name, and the new national carrier of the company named called “RIA”.

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Once launched, it will become Saudi’s second national carrier, based out of Riyadh. The current Saudia operates from Jeddah. By 2030, Saudi Arabia wants to see 30 million foreign transit travelers, up from just under 4 million at the moment. In order to run over 150 routes across Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia, the new carrier will eventually need to invest $30 billion. Emirates now offers flights to 158 locations in 85 nations.

The new carrier will focus on a number of important global source markets, including Africa and Asia-Pacific. Currently, the Middle East accounts for around 60% of all aviation travel in Saudi Arabia. Africa only accounts for 10% of the global population, with Asia-Pacific accounting for 20%, the source said.

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