Saudi Arabia announced its new aviation strategy targeting 250 direct destinations to and from the Kingdom's airports, inaugurated a new air carrier, and tripled air traffic.
Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser launched the aviation strategy at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, aiming for Saudi Arabia to become the Middle East's hub for the sector in 2030.
The minister addressed the Kingdom's "great aviation reform," saying that it aims to host 300 million passengers and five million tons of freight reaching 250 destinations by 2030.
He added that Saudi Arabia aims to obtain an investment of $100 billion in the aviation sector by the end of this decade.
He said that Saudi Arabia will also launch an additional national carrier to be among the world's best airlines, and we will upgrade its facilities, infrastructure, and airports led by its hubs, namely Riyadh and Jeddah.
The minister noted many opportunities for the private sector, pointing out that the ministry has changed more than 25 airports into holding companies to be ready for privatization.
President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Salvatore Sciacchitano said that the sector must learn from the pandemic and the challenges of climate change in order to move forward.
Sciacchitano said that digitized travel documents would transform the passenger experience and make global aviation operation seamless, adding that climate change needs to be addressed in the aviation industry urgently.
He noted that developing the international civil aviation system is key to global cooperation and understanding.
Sciacchitano congratulated Saudi Arabia for its commitment to greener skies and a sustainable future, adding that the Kingdom's "exemplary work to address climate change and promote sustainability under the Saudi Green Initiative. The ambitious environmental targets under this initiative are a testimony to Saudi Arabia's strong commitment to this global issue."
During the Conference, Saudi carrier flynas secured a $225 million Murabaha corporate financing facility out of a total funding package of $599.86 million to boost further growth.
The financing was arranged by Credit Suisse and syndicated to several Saudi banks with leading participation from Banque Saudi Fransi, Arab National Bank, al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation, and Bank Aljazeera, with Banque Saudi Fransi acting as Facility Agent.
President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) Abdulaziz al-Duailej said that these facilities will accelerate achieving the national aviation strategy, which aims to "increase the annual passenger traffic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to 330 million passengers while linking the Kingdom to more than 250 destinations around the world."
Flynas CEO Bander al-Mohanna announced that the financing program would support the company's ambitious future growth plans to become the largest and leading independent low-cost airline in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In March, the company's strategic plan was approved by the Board of Directors, in which they agreed to increase the volume of its orders to 250 aircrafts.
Since its establishment in 2007, flynas has transported more than 60 million passengers as it connects more than 70 domestic and international destinations through its fleet of more than 35 aircraft.