Saudi tourism sector revises 2030 target to 150m visitors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier Riyadh Air will reveal the second livery for its wide-body aircraft at the upcoming Dubai Airshow in November, disclosed a top executive. 

Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the ongoing Future Investment Initiative, Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas said: “We always said we’d have two liveries.” 

He added: “We believe the second one is even more beautiful than the one that we announced in Paris, and we’ll be releasing that livery at the Dubai Air Show. So, keep your eyes open for perhaps many other exciting developments in Dubai.” 

The CEO reiterated Riyadh Air’s commitment to connecting people, geographies and economies, underscoring the significance of top-class connectivity for a thriving world. 

Douglas acknowledged the remarkable transformation occurring in Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the importance of the FII event in advancing this progress. 

As the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Air’s mission is to facilitate connectivity and foster economic growth. Douglas expressed: “I don’t know of a successful global economy that doesn’t have world-class connectivity, and that’s the mandate we’ve been given as Riyadh Air.” 

The CEO unveiled Riyadh Air’s plans to establish connections between the Saudi capital and over a hundred cities in the second quarter of 2025. 

He underscored the importance of improving connectivity, not only for the citizens of Saudi Arabia but also for individuals worldwide who seek easier access to events like FII and popular tourist destinations in the Kingdom, such as the Red Sea resort and AlUla. 

Douglas also reflected on the airline’s rapid progress since its establishment in March, highlighting key milestones. He mentioned: “On the 14th of March, we sealed the deal for 72 787 Dreamliners, a wide-body product. In June, we rolled out our first livery at the Paris Air Show to acclaim. In August, we went live with our shirt sponsorship with Atletico Madrid.” 

The airline is on the brink of announcing the winner of a significant narrow-body order, reinforcing its ambitious expansion plans. 

Discussing the airline’s growth strategy, Douglas emphasized the significance of building a comprehensive fleet, including the 72 787 Dreamliners and the upcoming narrow-body order. 

Furthermore, he shared his experiences in China, underscoring the need for improved connectivity between the Kingdom and global destinations, including China, North America, Europe, the Indian subcontinent and other regions. 

The CEO expressed his excitement over global airlines’ enthusiastic engagement in collaborating with Riyadh Air to enhance their access to Saudi Arabia and beyond.  

He saw Riyadh Air as a pivotal player in transforming the aviation industry. 

“Since the 12th of March, the establishment of Riyadh Air, we also stood up, our website. We are just short of 700,000 people who’ve posted their interest now,” Douglas added. 

The CEO emphasized the importance of selecting individuals with the right attitude, personality, and training capability to represent the Riyadh brand and provide exceptional guest experiences. 

With ambitious plans to expand its team into the thousands by 2030, Riyadh Air is positioned to become a significant player in the global aviation industry, extending a warm welcome and world-class service to travelers worldwide as they embark on their journey to Riyadh and beyond. 

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