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Delta to Fly to Saudi Arabia, Partner with Riyadh Air

Delta to Fly to Saudi Arabia, Partner with Riyadh Air

Old Jul 9, 2024, 10:57 am
  #1  
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Delta to Fly to Saudi Arabia, Partner with Riyadh Air

I honestly did not see this one coming. I would have hoped Delta would go with an Etihad partnership. That being said, it's cool to see Delta sort of committing to a new long-haul destination.

https://news.delta.com/delta-riyadh-...options-across
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 11:28 am
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Having been to Riyadh twice for work, all I can say about that city is that if I have nothing nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all.
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 11:47 am
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I'm pretty surprised, frankly. I'm sure they did their homework, but is there really any meaningful demand between the US and Saudi Arabia beyond oil traffic? I know SA is doing a ton of development, but still...
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 12:05 pm
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Interesting choice of destination... I can't see this exactly being a family leisure route. I guess there must be enough industrial demand to justify it.
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 12:06 pm
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I’d imagine DL is thinking this will provide additional South Asia connectivity options beyond the transatlantic JV (without them having to fly there themselves).
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 12:12 pm
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I don't see how connecting in RUH to SE Asia would be of any benefit vs going the current route through ICN. It would take longer to go ATL-RUH-SIN/BKK/MNL than through ICN. Maybe this is how DL is planning to offer flights to India?
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 12:14 pm
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It almost feels like Delta wanted to just lock them down before another U.S. airline moved towards a partnership with them. Considering they haven’t even launched yet, and Delta gave no timeframe or details for their own flight.
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by rylan
I don't see how connecting in RUH to SE Asia would be of any benefit vs going the current route through ICN. It would take longer to go ATL-RUH-SIN/BKK/MNL than through ICN. Maybe this is how DL is planning to offer flights to India?
Yes, I was referring to South Asia not SE Asia ;-)

Who wants to take bets that DL tries to get them to adopt SkyMiles as their loyalty program currency? (Sounds ridiculous but I’m serious.)
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 12:29 pm
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Imagine what the D1 lounge in Riyadh will be like? Wild goat surprise served with Martinelli's non-alcoholic cider? O'Doul's anyone?
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Cory6188
I'm pretty surprised, frankly. I'm sure they did their homework, but is there really any meaningful demand between the US and Saudi Arabia beyond oil traffic? I know SA is doing a ton of development, but still...
IMO - This is probably a situation where the Saudi development authority is offering a boatload of cash for Delta to become involved and operate a direct flight from USA -> Saudi Arabia. It will be profitable for Delta only because it's heavily subsidized. For the Saudis, the incentive has more to do with establishing legitimacy as an international player and improving its reputation globally than it does with actually turning a profit here.
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 1:14 pm
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a terrible thing for our international airlines, a terrible thing for our employees, a terrible thing for our customers, our communities and you know, they’re cheaters. They’re trade violators and they’re cheaters. And we need to hold them accountable.” -Ed Bastian on the rise of Middle East airlines in 2017

https://crankyflier.com/2017/05/11/d...oss-the-aisle/
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 1:23 pm
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Whatever route Delta launches to Riyadh, I'm sure it will be out of Atlanta, but as a New Yorker I'd love to see it fly from JFK. I guess Detroit is a dark horse candidate given its sizable Middle Eastern population.
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by third_wave
IMO - This is probably a situation where the Saudi development authority is offering a boatload of cash for Delta to become involved and operate a direct flight from USA -> Saudi Arabia. It will be profitable for Delta only because it's heavily subsidized. For the Saudis, the incentive has more to do with establishing legitimacy as an international player and improving its reputation globally than it does with actually turning a profit here.
Yep, stinks of xyz-washing.
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 2:23 pm
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How will this work with Saudia being in SkyTeam and a direct competitor (presumably) collaborating with Delta? Or are Saudia and this future Riyadiyah carrier just two faces of the same entity?
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Old Jul 9, 2024, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by tr3k
How will this work with Saudia being in SkyTeam and a direct competitor (presumably) collaborating with Delta? Or are Saudia and this future Riyadiyah carrier just two faces of the same entity?
I'm more curious about why the KSA is starting a second flag carrier and what this means for the incumbent.
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