Delta, Riyadh Air ink deal for expansion

Kolkata: Delta Air Lines, the world’s leading premium airline from the U.S., and Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia's new full-service global carrier, have signed a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to introduce a broad range of benefits for travellers between North America, Saudi Arabia and destinations beyond.

The agreement, signed on Wednesday at a ceremony at Delta’s world headquarters in Atlanta, serves as the foundation for a strategic partnership that will enable both the airlines to strengthen connectivity, expand their networks and drive future growth.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “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. 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. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Riyadh Air team and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia as they transform the transportation economy in the Kingdom.”

Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas said, “We look forward to enjoying a very warm and productive relationship with Delta Air Lines, one of the largest and most successful airlines in the world. Riyadh Air and Delta Air Lines share common goals and pursue the highest standards in many areas including guest experience, loyalty, and sustainability, built upon great networks and strong connectivity.”

The agreement envisions a long-term relationship, subject to regulatory approvals, that includes interline and codeshare connectivity, 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.

In the future, the airlines intend to explore an immunised joint venture to further expand the partnership and allow collaboration on network planning and growth in the region. Both airlines are committed to driving the best sustainability practices throughout their operations as they transform the future of travel.

The partnership will open new destinations in Saudi Arabia and beyond for Delta customers, including future nonstop service on Delta between the U.S. and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

It will provide leisure travellers with a new region of the world to explore while creating new opportunities for business travellers to Riyadh, a G20 capital city, plus destinations beyond. And it will offer Delta’s leading North American network for Riyadh Air customers, offering convenient access to hundreds of destinations in the U.S. and beyond with Delta’s famous reliability and elevated service.

Riyadh Air, which will begin operations in 2025, is committed to building a premier carrier for customers travelling to and from the Middle East, with its base of operations in Riyadh. Delta, which will mark its 100th anniversary next year, is the most-awarded U.S. airline with an industry-leading global network and an unrivalled reputation for outstanding customer service and operational excellence.

Mr Bastian added, “It’s fitting that Riyadh Air will begin its journey the same year that Delta launches our second century of flight. We’ll have many opportunities to learn from each other and become better airlines for our mutual customers, our employees, our investors and our communities as we fly forward together.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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