Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistic Services Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser said that his country would invest more than $134 billion in the transportation sector.
Speaking at an event in Saudi Arabia, Minister Saleh bin Nasser noted that these investments are part of a new strategy that includes many mega projects.
The new strategy was announced last week by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is attempting to ensure economic diversification in the country to reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil revenues.
Within the scope of this new strategy, Saudi Arabia has recently planned to establish a new airline. By this, it is aimed to increase the number of international destinations from 99 to 250, and the number of annual passengers from 103 million to 330 million by 2030.
Speaking at the same event, the head of the Saudi aviation authority, Abdulaziz Al Duauilj, announced that Riyadh’s King Khalid and Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport’s annual capacities would be expanded to 100 million passengers. Yet, he has not provided further information regarding the schedule for these plans.
Analysts consider these new attempts as part of the Saudis’ ambitious plans to compete with its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, to replace it in the region’s business, trade, and tourism hub.
Sources who have knowledge regarding these new Saudi attempts said that the new airline would directly target international transit traffic, which means it would compete with other Gulf giants, Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Currently, Saudi Arabia has Saudia, which is considered one of the smallest carriers compared to its neighbors’ rivals, and its low-cost subsidiary flyadeal, which mostly operates domestic services and point-to-point flights.