Saudi Arabia to Create New National Airlines with Oil Diversification

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the country’s plans to launch a second national airline as part of a broader strategy to transform the Kingdom into a global logistics hub looking to diversify away from oil.

Official media reported that the creation of another airline would put Saudi Arabia in fifth place in the world in terms of air traffic, without giving details on when and how would the airline be created.

Prince Mohammed is leading a campaign in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the largest Gulf country geographically, to increase non-oil revenues to about $12 billion by 2030.

The official Saudi press agency said the transformation of the kingdom into a global logistics hub, including the development of ports, railways, and road networks, would increase the transport and logistics sector’s contribution to GDP from 6% to 10%.

The Saudi Press Agency report quoted Prince Mohammed as saying: “A comprehensive strategy aims to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub connecting three continents.”

This will help other sectors such as tourism, Hajj, and Umrah to achieve their national goals.

The Saudi Press Agency said the addition of another airline would increase the number of international destinations from Saudi Arabia to more than 250 and double the capacity of air cargo to more than 4.5 million tons.

With Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudi Arabian Airlines) flying the current flag, the Kingdom has one of the smallest airline networks in the region for its size. Saudi Arabia has suffered losses for many years and, like its global counterparts, has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

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