Saudi Arabia Plans Second National Airline in Transport Push

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Saudi Arabia plans to start a second national airline in an effort to turn the oil-rich kingdom into a transport hub and help diversify its economy.

The strategy also includes increasing air connectivity to 250 destinations and doubling air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was cited as saying by the state news agency.

It will go along with plans to develop ports, rail and road networks, increasing the transport sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product to 10% from 6% by 2030, according to the news agency.

Saudi Arabia is considering building a new airport in its capital Riyadh to serve a base for a new airline, which would serve tourists and business travelers, while existing flag carrier Saudia would focus on religious tourism from its base in Jeddah, Bloomberg reported last week.

State-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines is the biggest carrier in the kingdom. Others include low-cost carrier Flyadeal, owned by Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Flynas, owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud’s Kingdom Holding.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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