Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s multi-project developer Red Sea Global (RSG) has created a subsidiary seaplane operator to serve Red Sea resorts, the resort developer announced on Thursday.
The airline, Fly Red Sea, has newly commenced operations with an initial fleet of four Cessna Caravan 208s. The fleet will expand in line with the destination’s development phases, growing to nine seaplanes by 2028 and is expected to increase to more than 20 by 2030, said authorities.
The seaplane company was launched to transport guests to The Red Sea’s island resorts, including St. Regis Red Sea Resort and Nujuma, A Ritz Carlton Reserve. It is the first seaplane company to be launched in the Kingdom.
“As a pilot myself, I was deeply invested in the efforts to build Fly Red Sea. Our goal was to create a company that would allow us to maintain high standards across every guest touchpoint, giving us the platform to explore technologies to reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global.
Each aircraft can accommodate a pilot and up to six guests with luggage for guest transfers to water-based resots or up to nine guests for scenic tours across the entire destination.
A dedicated seaplane runway has been established at Red Sea International (RSI) Airport, the home base of Fly Red Sea. It runs in parallel to the main terminal at RSI and eventually will encompass a dedicated seaplane terminal.
Moreover, RSG has chosen to fuel its fleet of seaplanes using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). It is also exploring the possibility of fully electric seaplanes and is working closely with ZeroAvia to trial retrofitting Cessna Caravan Seaplanes with hydrogen-electric propulsion technology.
The Red Sea International Airport is now operational, receiving its first flights last month, and the first two hotels are taking bookings. Upon full completion in 2030, the destination will comprise 50 resorts, offering 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.