Saudi Arabia bets big for the development of tourism in the next few years. The Saudi Vision 2030 strategy is aimed at diversifying the country's economy and moving away from oil and gas. One of the main goals is to welcome more than 100 million foreign tourists annually by the end of this decade, increasing the share of tourism in GDP to 10 percent.
The government not only established a new carrier, Riyadh Air, and its first order for 39 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options for 33 more aircraft, but also created a subsidy scheme for other carriers such as Wizz Air to increase the number of flights to and from the Kingdom. And now, a new startup carrier has been confirmed, and a very unusual one at that.
NEOM Airlines' two-stage approach to technology
As Zawya reported yesterday, NEOM Airlines — the airline dedicated to serving the planned NEOM metropolitan area will begin operations at the end of the fourth quarter of 2024.
Klaus Gersch, former chief operating officer of British Airways and Air Canada, will become the airline's CEO. His comment about the launch of the project is posted on the carrier's official website: “NEOM resorts will begin operations in early 2024, so we need to quickly meet this demand by initially retrofitting existing aircraft with the latest technology. But starting in 2026, we will have new innovative aircraft: perhaps electric, hydrogen or supersonic. The interiors will also be next generation. We are already negotiating with manufacturers of aircraft, interiors and seats.
The airline will focus on digitalization, innovation and sustainable development. NEOM states that its ultimate goal — “Improve every element of flight. Get ready for a completely different travel experience.
Some of the “future” features planned by NEOM Airlines, — a large IFE screen in every seat, 6G Wi-Fi for gaming, and biometric security checks without having to go through security checks or show a visa at the airport.
NEOM, a $500 billion project — it is a futuristic city designed to be a hub for innovation, technology and sustainable lifestyles. The first images of the planned construction look like stills from a sci-fi movie.
NEOM — it's not even a city, but a vast area in the extreme northwest of Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea. Near — Egypt, Israel and Jordan.
The most famous part of the — a new vertical city called The Line, stretching for 170 km. It will be able to accommodate 9 million people.
The first facility to be built for both residents and tourists will be the luxurious resort island of Sindalah in the Red Sea.