Future Aviation Forum: Industry leaders gather for inaugural global event

Future Aviation Forum: Industry leaders gather for inaugural global event
The forum hosted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation will feature more than 120 speakers (Arab News)
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Updated 09 May 2022

Future Aviation Forum: Industry leaders gather for inaugural global event

Future Aviation Forum: Industry leaders gather for inaugural global event

RIYADH: The first day of the inaugural Future Aviation Forum has started in Saudi Arabia, with more than 2,000 attendees expected.

The two-day event, being held in Riyadh, will see leaders from the public and business sectors mix with international CEOs and regulators as the aviation industry aims to resolve post-pandemic issues and shape future international air travel.

The forum hosted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation, also known as GACA, will feature more than 120 speakers.

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Current Crisis ConcernsTalking to Arab News on the sidelines of the event, Jean-Marc Bourreau, partner at Consulum Aviation, said the global effect of the pandemic has shaped the creation of Saudi Arabia's new Global Air Travel policy. 

“This is what is going to fuel the Vision 2030. How can we talk about the future 2030, if we are not able to propose solutions to get out of the current crisis?” Bourreau added.




Jean-Marc Bourreau talks to Arab News Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. 

Chinese Impact: The aviation sector has slowed due to China’s zero-Covid policy, which is impossible to achieve, according to International Air Transport Association director general, Willie Walsh. 

Walsh noted that soaring energy prices are one of the most difficult challenges the aviation sector is facing, as it tries to come out of the economic slump caused by the pandemic 

Vision 2030: Saudi Arabia is working towards achieving a solid aviation ecosystem as it looks towards taking on a regional hub role, in line with the nation's Vision 2030, said Raid Ismael, co-head of Middle East and North Africa direct investment and the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund. 

“From a commercial aviation perspective, there are lots of opportunities when it comes to the new carrier within Riyadh. The most important is the ecosystem that is around it. To have a solid ecosystem and a multiplier effect, to make sure we drive that into a leading hub within the region,” said Ismael. 




Raid Ismael, co-head of MENA direct investment, PIF, speaking at FAF 2022 (Future Aviation Forum)

Future Fuel: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that a low-carbon fuel for aviation could emerge as the transitionary fuel for the future. 

The minister noted that achieving sustainability cannot be done by just relying on biofuels. Instead, he made it clear that all options including hydrogen should be considered to ensure a better low-carbon future. 

 

Special Riyadh Zone: In a bid to attract more multinational companies from the logistics and cargo sector, Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation has started working on a special economic zone in Riyadh.

GACA president Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej revealed this new special zone will have economic and legislative packages capable of driving up more multinational entities in the future.

New national airline: Saudi Arabia is aiming to obtain an investment of $100 billion in the aviation sector by the end of this decade, Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser told the inaugural ceremony of the forum. 

He also added that the Saudi Arabian government has ambitious plans to launch a new national carrier which could emerge as one of the best in the world in the coming years. 




Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser, speaking at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh

New travel rules: In a bid to smooth the process of international air travel, Saudi Arabia has announced a new Global Air Travel policy. 

The new framework is expected to make international journeys simpler, by avoiding the confusion over travel requirements currently discouraging millions of people from booking flights.




The event will last for two days (Arab News)

 

 


Saudi stocks advance as investors brushed off worries: Closing bell

Saudi stocks advance as investors brushed off worries: Closing bell
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi stocks advance as investors brushed off worries: Closing bell

Saudi stocks advance as investors brushed off worries: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended the day higher on Wednesday as major companies released their earnings, causing investors to shrug off some concerns.

The Saudi main stock index,  TASI, gained 0.19 percent to close at 12,713, while the parallel market, Nomu, added 0.64 percent at 22,832.

Red Sea International Co. surged 10 percent to lead the gainers, while Al Hassan Ghazi Ibrahim Shaker Co. shed 9.91 to lead the fallers.

Anaam International Holding Group gained 9.97 percent, following its shareholders’ approval to raise its capital to SR315 million ($84 million).

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. grew 2.89 percent, after reporting a profit surge of 675 percent in the first quarter.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, closed Wednesday’s trading down 1.21 percent.

The Saudi Electricity Co. dropped 7.76 percent, after it reported a 10 percent decline in quarterly profit.

Methanol Chemicals Co. rose 3.44 percent, after it reported a 244 percent spike in profits in the first quarter.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank, Al Rajhi, edged up 0.21 percent, and Alinma Bank edged down 0.41 percent.

Both pharma giants saw gains, as Nahdi Medical Co. added 3.04 percent and Aldawaa Medical Services Co. added 0.38 percent.

Brent crude settled at $113.96 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude traded at $115.14 a barrel, as of 3:22 p.m. Saudi time.


Saudi Technology Ventures, Meta partner to scale up tech ecosystem in region

Saudi Technology Ventures, Meta partner to scale up tech ecosystem in region
Updated 36 sec ago

Saudi Technology Ventures, Meta partner to scale up tech ecosystem in region

Saudi Technology Ventures, Meta partner to scale up tech ecosystem in region
  • $500 million technology venture capital fund plans to do so through building its technical capability and enabling its portfolio companies

RIYADH: Saudi Technology Ventures has partnered with Meta — formerly Facebook — to scale up the tech ecosystem in the Kingdom and the Middle East and North Africa region.

The $500 million technology venture capital fund plans to do so through building its technical capability and enabling its portfolio companies, it said in a statement. 

As part of the deal Meta will provide strategic and financial incentives to serve STV's objectives towards its portfolio and the broader ecosystem.


Four European nations to build North Sea wind farms

Four European nations to build North Sea wind farms
Updated 29 min 38 sec ago

Four European nations to build North Sea wind farms

Four European nations to build North Sea wind farms
  • The EU has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 55 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2030, and to get to net zero emissions by 2050

Denmark: Four European Union countries plan to build North Sea wind farms capable of producing at least 150 gigawatts of energy by 2050 to help cut carbon emissions that cause climate change, Danish media reported Wednesday.

Under the plan, wind turbines would be raised off the coasts of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, daily Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten said.

The project would mean a tenfold increase in the EU’s current offshore wind capacity.

“The North Sea can do a lot,” Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen told the newspaper, adding the close cooperation between the four EU nations “must start now.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo are scheduled to attend a North Sea Summit on Wednesday in Esbjerg, 260 kilometers (162 miles) west of Copenhagen.

In Brussels, the Commission moved Wednesday to jump-start plans for all the 27-nation bloc to abandon Russian energy amid the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, proposing a nearly 300 billion-euro ($315 billion) package that includes more efficient use of fuels and faster rollout of renewable power.

The investment initiative by the EU’s executive arm is meant to help the bloc’s 27 countries start weaning themselves off Russian fossil fuels this year.

The goal is to deprive Russia, the EU’s main supplier of oil, natural gas and coal, of tens of billions in revenue and strengthen EU climate policies.

“We are taking our ambition to yet another level to make sure that we become independent from Russian fossil fuels as quickly as possible,” von der Leyen said in Brussels when announcing the package, dubbed REPowerEU.

The EU has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 55 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2030, and to get to net zero emissions by 2050.

The European Commission has set an overall target of generating 300 gigawatts of offshore energy of by 2050.

Along with climate change, the war in Ukraine has made EU nations eager to reduce their dependency on Russian natural gas and oil. In 2021, the EU imported roughly 40 percent of its gas and 25 percent of its oil from Russia.

At a March 11 summit, EU leaders agreed in principle to phase out Russian gas, oil and coal imports by 2027.


Oil prices rise on China demand recovery expectations, supply concerns

Oil prices rise on China demand recovery expectations, supply concerns
Updated 37 min 30 sec ago

Oil prices rise on China demand recovery expectations, supply concerns

Oil prices rise on China demand recovery expectations, supply concerns
  • The European Union’s failure to persuade Hungary to lift its veto on a proposed embargo on Russian oil is adding price pressure

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Wednesday on expectations that easing COVID-19 restrictions in China will boost demand and as supply concerns grew.

Brent crude was up $1.69 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $113.62 a barrel at 1150 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed $2.26 cents, or 2 percent, to $114.66 a barrel, reversing some of the previous session’s losses.

Hopes of further lockdown easing in China boosted expectations for demand recovery. The country’s authorities allowed 864 of Shanghai’s financial institutions to resume work, sources said on Wednesday, a day after the Chinese city achieved a milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID cases outside quarantine zones.

And China has relaxed some COVID test rules for US and other travelers.

The market also saw support from rising supply concerns. Russian crude output in April fell by nearly 9 percent from the previous month, an internal OPEC+ report showed on Tuesday, as Western sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine hit the top oil producer.

The price rise is being capped by reports that the US is planning to relax sanctions against Venezuela and allow Chevron Corp. to negotiate oil licenses with Venezuela’s national producer.

“Though this will bring little relief to the market in the short term, it would nonetheless be a first step toward ensuring that more oil could reach the market in future from currently sanctioned countries,” Commerzbank analyst Barbara Lambrecht said.

The European Union’s failure to persuade Hungary to lift its veto on a proposed embargo on Russian oil is adding price pressure, although some diplomats expect agreement on a phased ban at a summit at the end of May.

The EU intends to mobilize up to 300 billion euros ($315 billion) of investments by 2030 to end its reliance on Russian oil and gas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

“In the meantime, the oil market will likely take its cues from today’s EIA update concerning US oil stocks,” PVM analyst Stephen Brennock said.

US crude and gasoline stocks fell last week, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday.

For the economic outlook, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday said the central bank would ratchet up interest rates as high as needed to stifle inflation that he said threatened the foundation of the economy.


MENA Project Tracker: South Korea’s Posco commences work on a green ammonia project in Oman

MENA Project Tracker: South Korea’s Posco commences work on a green ammonia project in Oman
Updated 18 May 2022

MENA Project Tracker: South Korea’s Posco commences work on a green ammonia project in Oman

MENA Project Tracker: South Korea’s Posco commences work on a green ammonia project in Oman

RIYADH: While South Korea’s Posco has commenced work on a green ammonia project in Oman, UAE’s Emaar has extended the bid deadline for a package regarding the Dubai-based Creak Beach project. Meanwhile, contractors are expected to wait another year until Saudi’s Neom project becomes the region’s largest project by contracts. On another note, Saudi’s Myclinic has been chosen to build, own, and operate Al-Ula hospital project.

·      South Korean steel making company Posco Group has announced that it has started work on a green ammonia project in Oman, MEED reported. With a potential capacity of 4 GW, the project is part of at least 10 hydrogen and green ammonia projects that are being planned in the country. 

·      Emirati multinational real estate development company Emaar has pushed the bid deadline for the package to work on the third phase of its Creek Beach development located in Dubai until May 23, MEED reported. The package includes the building of 14 medium-rise buildings accommodating an estimated 900 residential units. The project is one of 24 plans that the real estate firm is currently either designing or tendering.

·      Contractors might have to wait another year before Saudi’s Neom project to be the region’s largest project in terms of contracts, MEED reported. This comes as the project currently has contracts worth $1.8 billion at the tender stage and other contracts amounting to $875 million at the prequalification stage. 

·      Saudi Arabian clinics operator Myclinic has been awarded the build, own, operate, and transfer contract for the $100 million Al-Ula hospital project, MEED reported. The duration of the contract extends to 10 years, after which the asset will be handed over to the Royal Commission.