Saudi Arabia’s newly established national airline, Riyadh Air, has recently revealed its captivating livery, garnering praise for its remarkable design. The airline showcased the first of two livery designs, described as an exquisite fusion of modern technology and timeless sophistication. Displayed on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, Riyadh Air has a substantial order of up to 72 of these planes, including 39 firm orders and 33 options.
Based at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, the airline hopes to grow to serve more than 100 destinations by 2030, and become the largest airline in the Middle East.
It remains somewhat uncertain whether Riyadh Air intends to operate a fleet with two distinct liveries or if the airline is still deliberating between the designs and is currently showcasing the initial version.
We are delighted to unveil the first of two #RiyadhAir livery designs, a perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and timeless elegance.
— Riyadh Air (@RiyadhAir) June 4, 2023
In an industry where many airlines have adopted less imaginative liveries over time, often featuring a white fuselage, bold lettering, and a logo accompanied by some artwork on the tail, Riyadh Air’s planes will undoubtedly stand out. The carrier’s livery showcases vibrant purple and blue hues, accompanied by captivating visual effects. The words “RIYADH AIR” are prominently displayed in white across the fuselage, while the airline’s logo adorns the tail and engines.
For context, Riyadh Air serves as Saudi Arabia’s ambitious national airline, playing a vital role in the country’s ambitious tourism expansion plans. The airline aims to achieve the scale of renowned carriers like Emirates but in a significantly shorter timeframe. Riyadh Air has currently placed orders for Boeing 787s, and there are rumours of an imminent Boeing 737 order. Although the airline plans to commence operations in 2024, details beyond that are limited at present.
While some significant questions surround Riyadh Air’s establishment, such as the rationale behind creating a second national airline that competes with the existing one instead of expanding the existing carrier, it is evident that Saudi Arabia is dedicated to launching this airline. The company has managed to attract an impressive pool of talent from across the aviation industry to lead the airline, with numerous respected professionals leaving their senior positions at other airlines to seize opportunities with Riyadh Air.
Therefore, while Riyadh Air benefits from a highly skilled workforce, there are undoubtedly other significant challenges to overcome, particularly in normalising travel to and through Saudi Arabia for individuals who are not from the region.