Delta, Riyadh Air sign strategic agreement to expand connectivity and premium travel options across North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond

July 9, 2024
  • New partnership will include a range of benefits for consumers traveling between North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond.
  • Delta, Riyadh Air to strengthen connectivity and harness future growth opportunities for both carriers.
  • Agreement will enhance competition with an array of new travel choices for consumers, including future Delta service between the U.S. and Riyadh.
  • Delta will serve as Riyadh Air's exclusive partner in North America, while Riyadh Air will be Delta's exclusive partner in Riyadh and beyond.

ATLANTA, July 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines, the world's leading premium airline, and Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia's innovative new full-service global carrier, have signed a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of introducing a broad range of benefits for customers traveling between North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and destinations beyond.

The agreement, signed today at a ceremony at Delta's World Headquarters in Atlanta, serves as the foundation for a strategic partnership that will enable both airlines to strengthen connectivity, expand their networks and drive future growth.

"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," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. "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."

"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," said Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas.

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 immunized 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 travelers with a new region of the world to explore while creating new opportunities for business travelers 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.

The new partnership comes as large-scale, ongoing investments in the Kingdom are transforming it into a popular and attractive destination for both leisure and business travelers. Travel is central to the nation's long-term economic growth plan, with an $800 billion investment in the tourism sector that includes development of luxury resorts on the Red Sea, the opening of the Diriyah and al-Ula historical site to visitors, and the hosting of the 2030 Riyadh Expo.

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

"It's fitting that Riyadh Air will begin its journey the same year that Delta launches our second century of flight," Bastian said. "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."


Through exceptional service and the power of innovation, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) never stops looking for ways to make every trip feel tailored to every customer.

There are 100,000 Delta people leading the way to deliver a world-class customer experience on over 4,000 daily flights to more than 290 destinations on six continents, connecting people to places and to each other.

Delta served more than 190 million customers in 2023 -- safely, reliably and with industry-leading customer service innovation – and was recognized by J.D. Power this year for being No. 1 in First/Business and Premium Economy Passenger Satisfaction. The airline also was again recognized as North America's most on-time airline by Cirium.

We remain committed to ensuring that the future of travel is connected, personalized and enjoyable. Our people's genuine and enduring motivation is to make every customer feel welcomed and cared for across every point of their journey with us.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta operates significant hubs and key markets in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bogota, Boston, Detroit, Lima, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Santiago (Chile), Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul-Incheon and Tokyo.

As the leading global airline, Delta's mission to connect the world creates opportunities, fosters understanding and expands horizons by connecting people and communities to each other and to their own potential.

Powered by innovative and strategic partnerships with Aeromexico, Air France-KLM, China Eastern, Korean Air, LATAM, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet, Delta brings more choice and competition to customers worldwide. Delta's premium product line is elevated by its unique partnership with Wheels Up Experience.

Whether transporting life-saving pharmaceuticals, organs for transplant, fresh flowers or seasonal produce, Delta Cargo provides world-class service, offering industry-leading shipping solutions and transporting over 13 million pieces a year.

Connection is at the heart of what we do at Delta. It's why we're bringing fast, free Wi-Fi presented by T-Mobile to our entire global fleet — connectivity at an unprecedented scale. With more than 650 aircraft equipped with reliable, streaming-quality connectivity today and more to come, customers can connect during travel and spend their time in a way that suits them – just like they would at home.

We believe social responsibility lies at the intersection of our values and expertise, guiding our work in sustainability, our communities, and diversity, equity and inclusion, including:

  • Working toward a more sustainable, elevated future of travel with a clear, metrics-based strategy by building coalitions, leveraging existing solutions and technologies, investing in the future of sustainable aviation fuel and actively inspiring next-generation solutions.
  • Committing – at every level of our organization –  to actively seeking diversity, boldly pursuing equity, and consciously promoting inclusion as a necessary business imperative to drive systemic change that promotes equitable outcomes for all. Our Close the Gap strategy aims to ensure the representation of women, Black talent and Latin and Hispanic talent in leadership roles accurately reflects the broader employee population. Our talent programs work to remove unnecessary barriers, like four-year-degree requirements, to certain roles across the organization to widen internal and external talent pipelines. Delta's 12 Business Resource Groups influence and drive business strategies and help create solutions that have a significant impact on Delta people, customers and the communities we serve.
  • Returning 1% of the company's annual net income to the communities where we live, work and serve. Even more importantly, Delta people are making a difference in their communities by devoting their time and talents to a wide array of Delta's nonprofit and charitable partners.

Delta is America's most-awarded airline thanks to the dedication, passion and professionalism of its people. In addition to the awards from J.D. Power and Cirium, Delta has been recognized as the top U.S. airline by the Wall Street Journal; among Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies; the World's Most Admired Airline and one of the Best 100 Companies to Work For according to Fortune; and as one of Glassdoor's Best Places to Work. In addition, Delta has been named to the Civic 50 by Points of Light for the past seven years as one of the most community minded companies in the U.S.

Connect with Delta on Delta News Hub,, via @DeltaNewsHub on Twitter and


Riyadh Air, a PIF company, is a world-class airline. Launched in March 2023, the airline will be a digitally led, full-service airline that adopts the best global sustainability and safety practices across its advanced fleet of aircraft. Riyadh Air will equip its aircraft with the most advanced, state-of-the-art features with innovative, best-in-class cabin interiors and experiences, including next generation digital in-flight entertainment systems and connectivity solutions. Riyadh Air will connect guests to over 100 destinations around the world by 2030 through offering an exceptional guest experience with an authentic, warm Saudi hospitality at its heart. For more information please visit our website:



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SOURCE Delta Air Lines