Riyadh Air Launches Digital Payment Solution

image courtesy of CellPoint Digital
image courtesy of CellPoint Digital
Written by Linda Hohnholz

Riyadh Air and CellPoint Digital have launched a new partnership that will offers passengers with a seamless cross-border payment experience. Riyadh Air launched as a national airlines with commercial operations in 2025.

CellPoint Digital, the leading provider of payment solutions to the airline industry and a global pioneer of Payment Orchestration, today announced a new partnership with Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia‘s newest national airline. CellPoint Digital will equip the carrier with innovative payment technology to fuel its digital-first business strategy as it prepares to launch commercial operations in 2025.

The partnership supplies Riyadh Air with CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform, enabling the carrier to process local and cross-border transactions efficiently. Riyadh Air’s vision is to disrupt a Saudi Arabian commercial aviation market dominated by legacy players like Emirates and Etihad. Achieving this vision requires an innovative approach to payments that prioritizes optimized transaction routing, seamless cross-border payments, and making a wide variety of payment options available to international and domestic passengers.

Based in Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh Air is set to launch commercial operations by mid-2025. An integral part of Saudi Arabia’s mission to reinvent itself as a global aviation hub, the $30 billion start-up airline aims to connect the country to 100 regional and international destinations by 2030, leveraging the kingdom’s location between Asia, Africa and Europe and creating over 200,000 jobs. Riyadh Air’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter Bellew, has announced that the airline plans to recruit around 300 pilots and cabin crew members by spring 2025, to commence its operations.

“While legacy airlines can be held back by legacy technology, a next-generation airline like Riyadh Air can start from a more advanced position by using tailored technology that’s built for now, not 20 years ago,” said Kristian Gjerding, CEO at CellPoint Digital. “With our Payment Orchestration solution developed specifically for the unique challenges faced by global airlines, Riyadh Air can offer travelers their preferred payment options while gaining more control over its cash flow and costs.”

CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform uses intelligent routing, taking into consideration the pricing, processing and acceptance currency and geographical location of the processor, and increasing the success rate of transactions. In this way, Payment Orchestration minimizes the number of declined transactions, preventing the customer from abandoning the booking and driving revenue for Riyadh Air.

Adam Boukadida, Riyadh Air’s CFO, added: “As a disruptor airline prioritizing our digital capabilities, we need a payments partner with first-hand, in-depth knowledge of air travel. CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform enables us to offer travelers a fully digital experience onboard and a smoother booking experience. Not only that, but CellPoint Digital has been supporting us with its expertise and extensive consultancy services throughout the sales process and our quest to secure international partnerships.”

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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