March 2, 2024

“We will play a huge role in opening Saudi up to the world”

Vincent Coste, Chief Commercial Officer for Riyadh Air, believes in the power of technology and the benefit of launching a new airline with a completely clean slate

Riyadh Air is a brand new airline whose maiden flight is scheduled for 2025. As an integral part of Saudi ‘s tourism strategy Vision 2030, the airline aims to connect the destination to the world. ITB Berlin News spoke with Vincent Coste in an exclusive interview about the strategies and priorities of Riyadh Air.

From Riyadh Air’s perspective, how important is participating in ITB Berlin? What are some of your main goals at the show this year?
We are celebrating our first anniversary this month, so we’re still new and introducing ourselves to people which is why networking at events like this is so beneficial. Our goal for ITB Berlin this year is to continue to spread the word of Riyadh Air, as we build towards our maiden flight in 2025.

When selecting new routes for Riyadh Air, what factors are crucial to ensure not only the viability of the route but also its contribution to the airline’s network connectivity?
We aim to fly to 100 countries by 2030 so there are a lot of routes to consider. Geographically, Saudi is ideally placed to offer excellent connectivity to Africa, Asia and Europe. All routes will be selected to give our guests the best experience, whether they’re flying in or out of the Kingdom.
As part of our broader objectives, Riyadh Air will act as a catalyst for Saudi’s National Transport and Logistics Strategy and many of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals. With our planned routes network, we will play a huge role in opening up the country to the world.

Geographically, Saudi is ideally placed to offer excellent connectivity to Africa, Asia and Europe.

Can you tell us more about the technologies Riyadh Air is implementing in order to create seamless experiences for passengers, from booking to boarding?
Riyadh Air is committed to being at the forefront of technology, driving digital innovation at every touchpoint of our guest experience. We have partnered with industry leaders such as Accenture, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sabre to introduce pioneering technologies that will revolutionise air travel. From booking to arrival, our guests will enjoy a seamless journey enhanced by state-of-the-art technology.

How does Riyadh Air balance the use of technology with personalised service to ensure passengers feel valued and supported throughout their journey?
One of the most important things for us as an airline is our guest experience, which is why we are committed to ensuring all of our guests have a memorable one. Being a digitally native airline means that we can better connect with our guests to ensure we achieve this goal. This is from the moment they start making a booking to the moment they land in their destination. Last year, we announced our partnership with IBM Consulting, who will be the lead systems integrator to support creating, building and orchestrating the technology foundation that can help Riyadh Air offer this exceptional service.

A sustainable airline

Riyadh Air is committed to reducing its environmental impact and supporting Saudi’s sustainability goals. Vincent Coste stated that this priority is reflected in the airline’s choice of aircraft: “Our fleet will be composed of over 70 modern Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, a model manufactured with environmental impact considerations in mind, including reduced CO2 emissions, optimising fuel efficiency and meeting noise regulations.”

Vincent Coste emphasised that it is Riyadh Air’s goal to become “the leader in aviation sustainability” and said that the airline is committed to UNSDG principles, deploying SAF and other environmental fuels and Vision 2030 and SGI to increase the use of clean energy and address climate change. He argued that Riyadh air was strategically positioned to become the most sustainable airline because it is so new: “By virtue of having the newest fleet of any airline, we will also have the most efficient aircraft and our new Dreamliner 787 aircrafts will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 30% with a 60% noise reduction.”

Hall 4.2 / Stand 202