MIAMI – This week, Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced plans to build a second flag airline for the Western Asian country. Saudi Arabia is making the move in order to diversify its economy away from oil and become a global logistics powerhouse.

Saudi Arabia seeks to advance its position as the world’s fifth-largest air traffic transit country with this plan, according to a report by the state news agency Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The government also hopes to increase its international route network to 250 destinations and double its air freight capacity to more than 4.5 million tonnes with the advent of a second national airline.

Despite plans to diversify the economy and become a worldwide logistics hub, Saudi Arabia’s prince gave no indication of how or when the country’s second flag carrier would be established. It is worth noting that Saudia (SV), established in 1945 and wholly owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the national airline of Saudi Arabia.

Saudia has its own cargo division, Saudi Airlines Cargo, which services over 20 destinations with a dedicated cargo fleet. Additionally, just last month, Etihad Airways (EY) and SV announced a reciprocal loyalty agreement that expanded their codeshare agreement.

Saudia Airbus A320 Skyteam livery. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Comments from Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted bin Salman as saying, “This strategy will contribute to advancing technical capabilities and human capital in the Transport and Logistics Sector, it will invest our country’s strategic position at the heart of three continents, further concretizing our integral part of global economies.”

“By creating advanced logistical industries, ensuring high-quality services and applying competitive business models, we will strengthen productivity and sustainability in the logistics sector,” bin Salman added.

Featured image: Saudi Arabian Airlines. Photo: Daniel Veronesi/Airways. Article source: