Saudi wealth fund in talks to buy national airline, Saudia

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is reportedly engaged in discussions to purchase Saudia, the kingdom’s national airline, as reported by Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the situation.

The potential acquisition aligns with PIF's strategic objectives of investing significantly in tourism and transportation assets. This move is part of Saudi Arabia's broader vision to transform into a prominent tourist destination and diversify its economy beyond oil.

According to initial reports, acquiring Saudia would enable PIF to assume ownership of the airline from the government, with the aim of enhancing its efficiency and profitability. Subsequently, the airline could undergo privatization or potentially merge with Riyadh Air, another carrier owned by PIF, established in March 2023 to compete with established Gulf airlines.

Established in 1945, Saudia boasts a fleet comprising 144 aircraft, including 93 Airbus planes and 51 manufactured by Boeing. The airline serves over 100 destinations worldwide. The valuation of Saudia under this potential acquisition remains undisclosed. Discussions are reportedly in the early stages, and there is a possibility of delays or the deal not materializing at all.

Source: CNBC