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PIF to create a major Saudi airline

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Feb 3, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYAD – The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) plans to create a major airline to compete with the state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines and other major airlines in the region.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, together with investment entities, has made significant progress in forming the company which aims to exploit the vast opportunities in the aviation sector as well as the Kingdom’s plan to attract up to 100 million visitors and tourists each year in the year 2030, according to a report published by the online business newspaper Maaal.

The new airline will operate both international and domestic flights; the newspaper reported citing sources, who requested anonymity. “The project has come a long way in its studies, but it is not yet in its final form,” they said.

Referring to the establishment of another major airline by PIF, which is the investment arm of the Saudi government, aside from Saudi Airlines, the national carrier, the sources said that the establishment of a new airline no is not problematic.

On the contrary, it will increase the chances of acquiring a significant share of the regional aviation market, which is expected to experience a great boom in the coming period, especially as the Kingdom prepares to increase the number of visitors and tourists to Saudi Arabia, expected to reach 100 million annually by 2030.

The Saudi fund seeks to tap the enormous potential of the travel industry with the vast opportunities that are expected to open up with the global success of stemming the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as well as a huge increase in the number of people who are receiving vaccines in the near future.

With this, PIF aims to multiply the best alternatives for travelers, which will benefit airline users, both in terms of service and competition between companies, in addition to offering attractive packages and prices, have indicated the sources.

The idea of ​​the new airline is based on the exploration of the prospect of increasing the contribution of the aviation sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) by increasing competition, by making available more seat capacity of theft, launching businesses with enormous competitive capabilities, the sources said. .

The sources cited the telecommunications industry as the best model for success in this regard. “The opening up of the telecommunications sector to foreign telecommunications companies has helped to create healthy competition and thus raise the level of service to customers in addition to attracting more foreign investment in this sector,” the sources added.