Turkish Airlines joins the Riyadh Air Story

Turkish Riyadh
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When Riyadh Air was announced, voices within Turkish Airlines, Emirates or Qatar Airways were concerned. This has changed today.

Riyadh Air signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding with Turkish Airlines. Born in March 2023, Riyadh Air will be the second flag carrier for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with an operational launch in 2025.

Turkish Airlines is the airline with the largest network in the world.

This surprise agreement is the beginning of a new era of enhanced travel experiences for guests flying between Türkiye and Saudi Arabia and further beyond while laying the ground for deeper future collaborations.

This agreement, signed at the prestigious ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2023) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by Turkish Airlines Chief Investment and Technology Officer, Levent Konukcu, and Riyadh Air CEO, Tony Douglas, marks a significant step towards expanding airlines’ global reach and offering more seamless travel options.

Under this partnership, passengers of both airlines will enjoy the convenience of a comprehensive interline and codeshare agreement, allowing for smooth connections across the networks of both Turkish Airlines and Riyadh Air.

A key feature of this cooperation is the integration of both loyalty programs, enabling members to earn points or credits on codeshare flights operated by either airline.

Both airlines are also exploring the potential for a broader loyalty agreement that will span their networks, providing more value to the frequent flyers.

Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance.

This MOU paves the way for Turkish Airlines and Riyadh Air to explore joint initiatives across various sectors, including cargo, digital development, and other aviation-related services.

This partnership is not just about enhancing guest benefits; it’s also about leveraging synergies to drive innovation and efficiency across the operations.

 Turkish Airlines Chief Investment and Technology Officer, Levent Konukcu stated

 “We are happy to start our relationship with Riyadh Air, a promising new player in the aviation industry.

This Memorandum of Understanding is more than a collaboration; it’s a bridge between Türkiye and Saudi Arabia, further strengthening our ties.

It’s also an opportunity to expand our reach and offer our guests more choices and convenience. We believe this partnership will not only benefit our passengers but also contribute significantly to the tourism and business sectors of both countries.”

Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air responded: “This agreement is another very significant step in the evolution of Riyadh Air as we partner with the world’s largest global airline by destinations served.

Our close relationship will open up seamless connectivity via the global-leading hub at Istanbul Airport to some 130 destinations worldwide, especially within Türkiye, Europe, and the Americas. It will accelerate our network footprint through the market-leading, guest-centric, digitally focused, and like-minded global airline brand that is Turkish Airlines.

Bilateral agreements with established network airlines are extremely important to Riyadh Air and there are significant benefits to this partnership, our passengers can enjoy greater connectivity to the world and deeper access to Türkiye, while an increased flow in volumes of tourism, religious and business travel into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is anticipated.

Turkish Airlines is a world-class aviation brand, and we are proud that they wish to play a part in the Riyadh Air story.

About the author

Avatar of Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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