Since its initial announcement, Riyadh Air, the new Saudi international carrier slated to launch in 2025, has captured the imagination of the public and the media alike.
Back in September 2023 AeroTime met with Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas in Lisbon, Portugal to find out more about the carrier’s strategy and development plans.
This time we met with Peter Bellew, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Saudi Arabian carrier, on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow 2023, where Riyadh Air had just presented its second livery and a number of commercial agreements with companies such as Saudia, Lucid Motors and Lufthansa Systems.
Bellew is an industry veteran who, prior to joining Riyadh Air, was CEO at Malaysia Airlines before holding the successive position of COO at easyJet and Ryanair.
During a video interview, he shared the latest updates about the status of the new Saudi carrier, including what’s happening in areas of the business such as recruitment.
“We are no longer a paper airline,” he stated, before going on the confirm that Riyadh Air is currently in the market to hire approximately 700 pilots.
Bellew also explained the new airline’s approach to sustainability, giving some additional information about how staff will be rated in relation to their contribution to the airline’s environmental goals.
Finally, as Chief Operations Officer, Bellew delved into other matters that are important when it comes to the day-to-day operation of an airline, such as punctuality – an area in which Riyadh Air is taking a cue from Japanese carriers – and its approach to entering new markets.
Watch the video below to learn more about how this new Saudi airline is taking shape: