DALLAS — Saudia (SV), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has announced its complete withdrawal from Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (RUH) by 2030. The decision entails transferring all operations in the capital city to the newly established airline, Riyadh Air (RX).
After more than 70 years of significant presence, SV will entrust the entire business of the capital city to Riyadh Air (RX), an airline founded in March of this year that aims to operate nearly 300 aircraft in the next decade. In contrast, SV will focus its flights exclusively on King Abdulaziz International Airport, aka Jeddah International Airport (JED).
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud signed the Saudi Aviation Strategy Plan in May 2022, initially outlining this extensive plan. In an exclusive interview with Airways, both airlines confirmed that the hub transfer will be finalized by 2030.
Riyadh Air to Take Over Traffic in the Capital
During the Dubai Airshow 2023, Peter Bellew, the COO of Riyadh Air, unveiled RX’s fleet and network strategy plans. Additionally, he shared the details of the future transformation of the Saudi aviation market, stating, “Saudia has more business than it can handle with the current fleet down in Jeddah. They will, over time, move back to Jeddah.”
Bellew further explained, “We are cooperating with them in many ways, but if you think about it, the capital is Riyadh, and our brand is Riyadh. We will promote the capital and all its attractions as we move around the world.”
Bellew also mentioned that the airline had already begun the application process for the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and that it had already hired the first 20 pilots. RX remains confident that the official launch will occur in 2025, as initially announced…
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