According to Tony Douglas, the airline is using the next two years to finalize its plans, and the current schedule calls for the first commercial flights in early 2025.
As a reminder, there has been no official announcement of a planned launch date until this week, although the timeline did not cause much surprise among experts. Deliveries under the multi-billion order of “Dreamliners” even theoretically cannot begin before 2025. And Riyadh Air's management is not even considering purchasing used or almost new aircraft.
However, a delay of 24 months does not prevent Riyadh Air from starting to recruit key employees, including pilots and flight attendants. More than 73,000 people have already applied for jobs through the airline's newly launched recruitment portal. The airline is expected to add $20 billion to the Kingdom's economy and create up to 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Riyadh Air, funded by the Saudi Arabian State Investment Fund, plans to seriously compete with Emirates and Qatar Airways, which in had such ambitious plans at one time and have already turned them into reality.
Riyadh Air is expected not only to introduce advanced digital technologies, but also to offer passengers typically Western values, including a liberal dress code and the sale of alcohol on board .