Telegraph: Details of Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to defeat the UAE and Qatar

Telegraph: Details of Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to defeat the UAE and Qatar
Telegraph: Details of Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to defeat the UAE and Qatar

A report by the British newspaper “The Telegraph”, on Saturday, shed light on what it said was the plan of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to eliminate airlines in the Emirates and Qatar, by establishing a competing company and pumping billions of dollars into it.

The newspaper reported that Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, has spent lavishly since his rise to power in an effort to modernize the kingdom, including plans to build a $500 billion city in the desert.

And she adds, “When Mohammed bin Salman decided to turn Saudi Arabia into a superpower in aviation, he was not shy in his ambitions.”

The newspaper pointed out that the Saudi Crown Prince announced plans to establish a completely new airline, “Riyadh Airlines”, instead of investing in “Saudi Airlines”, the current national carrier.

According to the newspaper, “potential candidates for jobs in the new company were told that Riyadh Airlines plans to become a new world-class airline and shape the future of aviation.”

The company was officially unveiled about a week ago, and a few days later, Saudi Arabia concluded a historic deal with the American company Boeing, during which it spent $37 billion to purchase a fleet of 72 Boeing aircraft.

The newspaper believes that the launch of “Riyadh Airlines” is the latest development in the competition between the Gulf countries, as Saudi Arabia plans to confront the Emirates Airlines (Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways) in addition to Qatar Airways.

The newspaper quotes a senior executive who worked closely with Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi regime as saying, “It is pure competition, which is summed up in that my company is bigger than yours, and it is a matter driven by the crown prince and his ambition.”

Although Saudi Arabia’s history in the field of aviation is older than that of its neighbors Qatar and the Emirates, the three competing airlines quickly established themselves as international heavyweights, in contrast to Saudi Airlines.

Saudi Airlines was established in 1945, more than half a century before Emirates Airlines, nearly 60 years before Qatar Airways and seven decades before Etihad Airways.

Emirates Airlines is the largest international airline in the world, while Qatar owns 25 percent of the shares of the parent company of British Airways, and the Qatari sovereign wealth fund has a 20 percent stake in Heathrow Airport in London.

On the other hand, Etihad Airways built an international reputation through its sponsorship of the English champion, Manchester City, and the club’s stadium was named after the Emirati company.

And the newspaper quotes a well-informed person, commenting on the establishment of “Riyadh Airlines”, “He (Mohammed bin Salman) wants to say to the world: Look and take notes. You have ignored us throughout the ages, but today we have huge amounts of money and we can spend more than you.”

And Mohammed bin Salman succeeded in kidnapping the long-experienced British Tony Douglas from Etihad Airways and appointing him as CEO of Riyadh Airlines.

Riyadh Airlines will launch flights to more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030. The new company is expected to contribute to the growth of the non-oil of the Kingdom by up to $20 billion, and to provide more than 200,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.

Saudi Arabia is pursuing ambitious aviation goals as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s wide-ranging “Vision 2030” reform, including increasing annual air traffic more than threefold to 330 million passengers by the end of the decade. It also wants to transport up to 5 million tons of cargo annually.

The newspaper indicates that the plans of the Saudi crown prince are not only limited to the new airline, but also King Khalid Airport is being developed in the Saudi capital.

The new airport will have six parallel runways and is designed to handle up to 120 million passengers by 2030 and 185 million passengers by 2050.

The busiest international airport in the Kingdom is currently located in the coastal city of Jeddah overlooking the Red Sea, where the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian Airlines company is located.

The article is in Arabic

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