PARIS (Agencies): In line with its goal to serve over 100 destinations by 2030, Riyadh Air will connect the Kingdom’s capital to major cities of Europe, its CEO said.
Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, Tony Douglas said the company intends to reveal something new every two months as the airline gears up for its 2025 launch.
While Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and the highest-populated country within the Arabian Peninsula, it is not globally well-connected as it needs to be.
“The wisdom of leadership has laid out a clear vision for 2030 and how economic diversification plays a part. Having an airline that allows the citizens to be better connected to the world and Saudi Arabia is the mandate that we’re working to,” he said.
The CEO also highlighted that the airline would be a full-service carrier, focusing on enhancing the guest experience with the current level of digitalization.
“We’ll be the world’s first-ever true digital native. We will make sure that the way people usually interact with many things they do in life through their mobile phone or handheld device, that’s how they will be able to operate with Riyadh Air,” he explained.
Douglas also informed about plans to introduce narrowbody aircraft, besides the airline’s initial order for widebodies — 39 Boeing 787-9s with options for another 33.
Since the airline is a new venture, it enjoys the benefit of doing away with legacy expenses and systems that usually impede airline performance, he added.
Douglas also compared the airline’s efforts to those of Spotify and Uber, where each user has a customized flow of content and offerings.
According to the CEO, the goal of Riyadh Air is to enhance customer data processing to better serve each flyer in a way that is not currently possible, paying attention to sustainability.
“I don’t think there’s any question that in this day and age, environmental sustainability with commercial aviation is the biggest challenge — and anybody who doesn’t take it seriously will almost certainly fail,” he concluded.

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