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Delta Enters Strategic Agreement with Riyadh Air

Delta Air Lines is partnering with their second carrier serving Saudi Arabia with plans to grow a strategic agreement with Riyadh Air.
Delta Air Lines is committing further to the Middle East with their latest strategic partnership.


The Atlanta-based airline announced signing a strategic agreement with Riyadh Air, with both carriers being the exclusive partner in their respective countries.


Future Plans Include Interline, Codesharing, and Loyalty Reciprocity

The deal was signed during a ceremony at Delta’s headquarters with the Saudi Arabian carrier. The “Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding” outlines their dedication towards working together for the foreseeable future.


Under the preliminary agreement, Delta will offer future nonstop service between the U.S. and Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (RUH). It is unclear if Riyadh Air, which is set to begin flying in 2025, will also operate flights from Saudi Arabia to the United States.


The agreement also imagines a long-term deal between the two airlines, where Delta will become Riyadh Air’s exclusive partner in the U.S., and the Saudi carrier will be Delta’s exclusive partner in the country and points beyond. The airlines also envision a partnership where they will offer codesharing, interline operations, as well as “a deeper partnership encompassing loyalty, customer experience, digital transformation and broader aviation services such as maintenance, repair and overhaul services, ground handling and training.” Expanding the relationship will be subject to regulatory approval.


“This partnership with Riyadh Air will further Delta’s mission of connecting the world and open an array of new choices, benefits and destinations for our customers traveling to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Delta chief executive Ed Bastion said in a press release. “Most importantly, Riyadh Air shares Delta’s commitment to providing an elevated customer experience, which is why we’re looking forward to building and expanding this partnership in the months and years ahead.”


The agreement marks the second partnership Delta has with a Saudi Arabian carrier. Through the SkyTeam alliance, the airline also has connections to the nation’s flag carrier Saudia.


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