King Khalid International Airport ... which currently meets the capital area’s requirements.

Saudi Arabia plans to build a new airport in the capital Riyadh, to serve as a base for the proposed airline the  kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) is looking to launch as it targets a vast increase in tourist arrivals, reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

Earlier this year, the $430 billion fund said it plans to invest in aviation to help capture the tourist boom envisioned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The new airline, reported locally earlier this year, would serve tourists and business travellers, while the Saudi national carrier would focus on religious tourism from its base in Jeddah, said the sources, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The PIF is exploring the idea of investing billions in a new international airport in Riyadh, the sources said. The size of the facility and timeline for its construction haven’t been set and the project is still in the early stages of development, they added.

The project would further the Saudi goal to attract 100 million tourists a year by 2030, a sixfold increase from 2019.