Middle Eastern newcomer Riyadh Air has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Turkish Airlines. The strategic cooperation MoU will offer passengers a comprehensive range of benefits for those traveling between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and various other global points beyond the respective carriers’ Riyadh and Istanbul hubs.
Through the agreement, passengers of both airlines will be able to take full advantage of each carrier’s worldwide network through an extensive interline and codeshare agreement that will allow customers to connect seamlessly between and combine sectors operated by either Riyadh Air or Turkish Airlines.
Additionally, the cooperation agreement will allow members of each carrier’s loyalty program to earn points or credits when traveling on codeshare services operated by the other, with both airlines also exploring opportunities to develop a broader loyalty agreement covering both global networks.
The MoU also commits Riyadh Air and Turkish Airlines to collaborate to explore and implement broader synergies and efficiencies across the value chain, touching areas such as aviation-related services, cargo, and digital development.
The parties signed the MoU at a special ceremony on the sidelines of the ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN 2023) held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The intention of both carriers is that the benefits covered under the MoU will be made available to passengers following Riyadh Air’s inaugural flight operations scheduled for mid-2025 and are subject to regulatory approvals by relevant authorities.
“We are happy to start our relationship with Riyadh Air, a promising new player in the aviation industry,” said Turkish Airlines Chief Investment & Technology Officer Levent Konukcu. “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 customers but also contribute significantly to the tourism and business sectors of both countries.”
“This agreement is another significant step in the evolution of Riyadh Air as we partner with the world’s largest global airline by destinations served,” said Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas. Our close relationship will open up seamless connectivity via the global-leading hub at Istanbul Airport to some 130 destinations worldwide, especially within Turkey, Europe, and the Americas, and 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 Turkey 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,” Douglas added.