Saudia and Riyadh Air, the flag carriers of Saudi Arabia, signed a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding at the Dubai Airshow 2023.
It will include codeshare flights and is the first major agreement struck between the two airlines.
By way of the agreement, guests of both carriers will be able to take advantage of each airline’s worldwide network through a comprehensive interline and codeshare agreement that will allow guests to connect between sectors operated by either Saudia or Riyadh Air.
Members of each carrier’s loyalty programme will also be able to earn points when travelling on codeshare services operated by the other.
This move will be followed by a wider loyalty agreement in which guests can accrue or redeem points and receive elite level benefits across both carrier’s global networks.
The latest MoU also commits Saudia and Riyadh Air to develop and implement synergies and efficiencies across commercial, digital, aviation support services and cargo/logistics.
Riyadh Air added that the lates agreement “aims to optimise routes and resources to ultimately provide guests with a broader range of destinations and services.”
Saudia CEO, Ibrahim Koshy, said, “We’re delighted to be working alongside Riyadh Air and look forward to seeing another Saudi carrier supporting the national aviation strategy and kingdom’s objectives in tourism. This is a historic moment in where we join forces to serve guests travelling from and to the kingdom. Saudia and Riyadh Air will positively disrupt the industry as a whole and so we are proud to sign this MoU that signifies our partnership intent.”
Riyadh Air CEO, Tony Douglas, added, “The MoU signing of this strategic collaboration shows a solid statement of intent from both airlines. Riyadh Air and Saudia will play a significant part in the growth of travel tourism within the kingdom and so having the national carriers working side-by-side is the best way to accelerate and manage this growth. Riyadh Air will raise the bar in air travel and working in cooperation with Saudia will help us achieve this as we prepare for take-off in 2025.”
Also at the Dubai Airshow 2023, Riyadh Air released the second of its permanent dual-livery designs. The second livery will see Riyadh Air aircraft with a lavender and indigo paint combination featuring a feather-like design near the rear of the fuselage. The indigo signature theme contrasts with a light iridescent fuselage.
Saudia too recently unveiled a complete rebranding of itself. The previous dark blue tailfin and capitalised ‘SAUDIA’ on its aircraft fuselage has been replaced with a green colour on the tailfin and engines (replicating the colour of the kingdom’s flag), and a green, sand and blue stripe across the fuselage, alongside the ‘Saudia’ name.