According to Arabian Business, Saudi Arabia is planning to launch a third national airline, and this one is aimed squarely at the tourism industry.
The country’s national carrier Saudia will soon be joined by RIA and a new third airline whose name has not yet been revealed.
Arabian Business reports that this new airline would serve as the official airline of NEOM, a new metropolis being constructed in Tabuk Province in northwest Saudi Arabia.
NEOM is an acronym that combines the Greek and Arabic words for “new” and “future,” respectively. It is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s brainchild, and it will cost $500 billion to build.
According to a report from the year 2020, NEOM’s service region will be roughly the size of Belgium. The goal is to make the city a focal point for business, culture, and travel in the 21st century. It will stretch 170 kilometres (km) along the Red Sea’s coast and encompass a total area of 26,500 sq. km.
Direct flights from NEOM Bay Airport (NUM) are available to a few regional and worldwide destinations via the existing national airline Saudia, which flies under a NEOM branded livery.
According to reports, direct flights to cities in Europe and Asia would make NEOM a prime destination for international travellers.
The Kingdom’s intention is reported to market NEOM as the only hub for its dedicated airline.
Like RIA, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) funds the new airline