Delta Air Lines and Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s new full-service carrier, have joined forces in a new agreement. The partnership will enhance travel experiences for passengers between North America, Saudi Arabia, and beyond.

This strategic partnership has been now firmed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). It will strengthen connectivity, expand network reach, and drive mutual growth for both airlines.

“Delta’s mission is to connect the world,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “This partnership with Riyadh Air unlocks a wealth of new choices and destinations for our customers traveling to and from Saudi Arabia.”

“Shared values like exceptional customer service and a focus on sustainability make Riyadh Air a perfect partner. We’re excited to collaborate and build on this partnership in the coming years.”

Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air added further comment. “We’re thrilled to embark on this productive relationship with Delta, a leader in the global aviation industry.”

“Our shared commitment to high standards in guest experience, loyalty programs, and sustainability will be instrumental in creating a strong and successful partnership.”

Codesharing and Interline Connectivity

The agreement, subject to regulatory approval, lays the groundwork for a long-term collaboration.

This includes codeshare and interline connectivity, along with joint efforts in loyalty programs. It will span customer experience, digital innovation, and broader aviation services like maintenance, ground handling, and training.

Additionally, both airlines explore the possibility of an immunized joint venture in the future. This would enable deeper collaboration on network planning and regional growth.

A cornerstone of this partnership is a commitment to sustainable practices throughout operations. Together, Delta and Riyadh Air aim to transform the future of travel with a focus on environmental responsibility.

Close-up of the fuselage of a parked Delta Air Lines aircraft.
Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines

Future Delta Service to Riyadh

Delta customers will gain access to new destinations in Saudi Arabia and beyond, including potential future nonstop service between the U.S. and Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport.

This partnership opens doors for both leisure and business travelers. Leisure adventurers can explore new corners of the world, while business travelers gain convenient access to Riyadh, a major G20 city, and connecting destinations.

Conversely, Riyadh Air customers will benefit from Delta’s extensive North American network, offering seamless connections to hundreds of destinations throughout the U.S. and beyond, backed by Delta’s renowned reliability and exceptional service.

A Riyadh Air Boeing 787 on display.
Mztourist, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Saudi Arabia’s Growth as a Travel Hub

This partnership aligns with Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transformation into a premier travel destination for both leisure and business travelers.

The nation’s significant investments in tourism, including luxury Red Sea resorts, historical site development, and hosting the 2030 Riyadh Expo, solidify travel as a central pillar of their economic growth strategy.

About the Airlines

Riyadh Air, launching operations in 2025, is dedicated to becoming a leading carrier for travelers to and from the Middle East. Their base of operations resides in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Delta Air Lines, celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, is the most decorated U.S. airline. They boast an industry-leading global network and an unmatched reputation for exceptional customer service and operational excellence.

“As Delta embarks on its second century, it’s exciting to begin this journey alongside Riyadh Air,” concluded Bastian.

 “Through collaboration, we’ll have countless opportunities to learn from each other and become even better airlines for our customers, employees, investors, and the communities we serve.”


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