NEOM Airlines, Saudi Arabia’s latest airline dedicated to serving the US$500 billion futuristic city in the country’s northwest region, is set to take to the skies at the end of the fourth quarter of 2024.
The airline will be focused on enabling travel for tourists, residents and commercial partners to and from NEOM, Klaus Goersch, the airline’s CEO said in a blog post.
“We are there to enable the destination. Our goal is a holistic and interconnected approach, with NEOM Airlines enabling the gross domestic product of NEOM,” said Goersch.
NEOM Airlines will fly out of NEOM Bay Airport, which opened in 2019 and currently hosts Saudia flights to domestic and international destinations including London and Dubai. Flydubai operates services to Dubai too from this airport. The new carrier will eventually transfer to NEOM International airport at a later date.
“Organically, due to the strategic geographical location and the level of economic activity here, we expect that we will have a global aviation hub on our hands as time goes on – servicing the Middle East, Europe, America, Asia and so on,” added Goersch, a former chief operating officer of British Airways and Air Canada.
NEOM Airlines’ ambition is that every flight will be powered by sustainable fuel onboard – originating from mixing facilities at NEOM. The carrier’s sustainability will go as far as its catering, with foods sourced locally from NEOM and delivered via on-demand dining at a time when customers feel like eating.
Goersch said his planned airline will look at every single component right down to the carpets and single-use plastics.
The airline aims to, eventually, “elevate every single touch point” with an immersive and digitally enhanced experience that will begin long before you board the plane.
Goersch underscored that the ultimate ambition of Saudi Arabia’s latest airline is to make customers “not think about being on a plane or in an airport,” but simply enjoy the experience.
The airline’s CEO said the panned carrier would be retrofitting existing aircraft without providing exact details of the composition of the fleet.
The airline is reportedly already in discussions with plane, interior and seat manufacturers, but come 2026, “there will be new innovative aircraft – whether it be electric, hydrogen-powered or supersonic – and next-generation interiors coming online from us.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia awarded a multi-year contract to a US-based infrastructure consulting firm AECOM to provide project management consultancy services for NEOM International airport.
AECOM’s scope will include project management for master planning, design and construction services, through to testing, commissioning, operational readiness, activation and transition.
Saudi Arabia recently launched a new national carrier Riyadh Air and the premium airline is also expected to fly to NEOM. The launch of Riyadh Air is part of the kingdom’s strategy to help drive its tourism industry and make it a more popular destination for leisure and business. Kudakwashe Muzoriwa
This article originally appeared on Gulf Business