According to recent reports, a new Saudi airline that aims to compete with carriers like Emirates and Qatar Airways intends to launch operations by the end of 2022.
According to sources cited by Arabian Business who claim to have knowledge of the situation, the airline, which is now operating under the name RIA, is scheduled to begin operations by operating regional services.
Based in Riyadh, RIA will eventually focus on serving international transfer passengers flying from the east to the west and vice versa, much as how regional rivals like Emirates have based their operations.
The airline is a key component of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia’s massive effort to modernize and diversify the economy.
Last month, sources indicated that RIA planned to purchase up to 80 new planes from both the US aerospace giant Boeing and the European aircraft maker Airbus.
The long-haul Airbus A350 as well as the single-aisle A320 series aircraft were reportedly in RIA’s sights. The 737MAX and 787 Dreamliner from Boeing were being considered by the airline.