After Saudia and Riyadh Air (RIA), the Saudi government wants to launch the next airline towards the end of 2024: Neom Airlines. An astonishing turn “after oil” for this country which does not have a good reputation on the international socio-political scene and which wants to become an aeronautical nation and a tourist destination.
The Gulf country aims to become the largest aviation nation in the region and overtake rivals Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are on the long run with connections to more than 300 destinations, up from just 99 today.
The goals are ambitious, especially after the launch of Riyadh Air, officially founded alongside Saudia at the end of last week. Neom Airlines, the next state-owned airline, is already in the starting blocks with German Klaus Goersch at the helm, who notably worked for British Airways.
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Neom is the name of a mega-city of the future that is gradually emerging in the northwest of the country on the borders of Jordan and Egypt. The city will be 32 times larger than New York and is part of the Vision 2030 economic restructuring project. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2025.
Unlike the rest of the country, women in Neom should not be required to wear the veil and alcohol will be allowed. This is how Neom should become a stronghold of tourism.
The airline will serve regional and global routes from its home base, Neom Bay Airport. The planned launch of the new airline is late 2024 or early 2025.