Riyadh Air Won’t Compete With Emirates

riyadh air boeing 787 inflight

Riyadh Air, per Financial Times, is targeting substantial expansion as it gears up for a launch but notes it’s not after clashing with neighbours such as Emirates and Qatar Airways.

The upcoming Saudi Arabia-based carrier emerged with ambitious plans backed by significant funds. When launched, the airline will fly initially with Boeing 787s and is part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to grow the economy by 2030.

Due to its geographical position, it was often pitted against the likes of Emirates, Qatar and Etihad. However, new comments from Tony Douglas indicate the carrier isn’t aiming to battle close neighbours in the Gulf region, instead forging its path in the Saudi market. It is described as a niche market for the airline with great potential.

Calls that the airline won’t be commercially viable were rejected by Tony Douglas, who, understanding the plans were aggressive and ambitious, believes that the company has a lot of possibilities. This includes offering one of the best onboard experiences seen globally, emphasising the guest experience.

Riyadh Air additionally wants to make Saudi Arabia a destination people visit rather than transit through; this is seen with other Gulf carriers like Qatar Airways, the specific example highlighted by Tony Douglas, who said many of the traffic filters onwards rather than staying in Doha.

Saudi Arabia has a population of 35.95 million as of 2021’s latest figures; this is up from 9.365 million in the United Arab Emirates and only 2.688 million in Qatar. Therefore, the country has a massive benefit thanks to its population, which will aid it in not just being a transit location.

The Saudi Arabia Sovereign Wealth Fund is backing the launch of Riyadh Air, which will operate with the already-flying Saudia, a company that also recently got a substantial amount of support in the form of a new aircraft order as well.

Riyadh Air will target a launch in the coming years as it welcomes its first Boeing 787, a series selected to drive operations at the company forward. However, Tony Douglas remains hesitant about the ongoing supply chain crisis that has delayed deliveries and impacted some carrier’s rebound following the pandemic.

Daniel Fowkes
28 Aug 2023
· Airlines 
· Uncategorized 

Leave a Reply

  1. Dear Sir Madame,
    First of all I would thank Mr Tony Douglas for this excellent Report.
    And would encourage Riyadh Air to be one of the top air line company in middle east area,there is plenty regions where to enlarge Riyadh Air also if you want to know so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
    Best Regards
    Mr L.Berkane

  2. The comment regarding alcohol being served on board is the bottom line what will attract an even larger market, should the airline wish to attract non-drinkers of alcohol.

    You can order as many planes as you want to and satisfy a niche market with deep pockets to the maximum but “all the dressing up and marketing gimmicks will only add to pretending it would be a Global Airline. Should you not cater for a wider market, the airline will not grow to its true potential.

    All the best of luck!

  3. I hope if they are serious about long haul they haven’t gone with the 9 seat rows in economy on the dreamliner, absolutely awful. Way too narrow seats for anything over a couple of hours

  4. Who cares about alcohol, yea alcoholic cult indeed! The public want more competition in the area and more direct flights to more destinations from Riyadh making it a major hub in the region and cementing its place by doing so!

  5. Staff in Saudi Arabia is generally very rude at airports which could impact plans to expand tourism.

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