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Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s new world-class airline, is celebrating its first anniversary, following its inception on March 12, 2023.

During its first year in operation, Riyadh Air, which is set to fly to 100 countries by 2030, dominated industry conversations, signing major agreements and partnerships with partners, both in Saudi Arabia and around the world.

Riyadh Air’s first anniversary comes as the airline is accelerating its journey to take off in 2025, and as it aims to become the world’s most forward-thinking carrier, embracing the best sustainability practices, elevating air travel and setting a new standard for reliability, comfort, and hospitality. As a catalyst for the National Transport and Logistics Strategy and National Tourism Strategy, Riyadh Air is playing a key role in contributing to Saudi Arabia’s wider economic diversification and jobs creation, toward realizing Vision 2030 goals, while contributing to the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP growth by $20 billion and directly and indirectly creating more than 200,000 new jobs globally and locally.

Looking back on a colossal first year, CEO Tony Douglas said: “The year 2023 was a monumental year for Riyadh Air and we’re immensely proud of the progress we’ve made in the last 12 months as we celebrate our first anniversary — but we’re only just getting started.

“This year is set to be an even bigger one for us and we can’t wait to reveal more as we continue to accelerate toward our maiden flight in 2025, as we become the most forward-thinking carrier in the skies.”
“I would like to thank our partners, stakeholders and team for supporting us in our vision to disrupt the aviation industry and delivering an airline experience like no other,” he added.
Significant highlights during Riyadh Air’s first year included:

Major widebody order
Following its inauguration in March 2023 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh Air placed a significant aircraft order of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, showing a real statement of intent. Moreover, the airline signed a deal for 90 GEnx engines to power its Boeing 787 fleet. It was also officially welcomed into the global aviation ecosystem with the unique “RX” code.

Dual-livery designs unveiled in Paris, Dubai
In June, Riyadh Air unveiled to the world its first livery with a flight over its home city of Riyadh, ahead of its official public debut at the 54th Paris Airshow. The historic moment was marked with a ceremony attended by VIPs and official dignitaries and was the first time the vibrant lavender-inspired livery was seen in the skies. At the Dubai Airshow, Riyadh Air showcased the second of its dual-livery designs that displays meticulously crafted details, combining style and sophistication, while paying tribute to Saudi Arabia’s warm hospitality and future-focused vision.

MoU with Saudia and Turkish Airlines
At the Dubai Airshow, Riyadh Air and Saudia announced a strategic cooperation MoU signifying a major milestone moment of collaborative strength in the Saudi aviation ecosystem. The expansive agreement marks the first between the two airlines, laying the foundation for further cooperation in the future.
At the 15th International Civil Aviation Organization’s Air Services Negotiation event, Riyadh Air announced a significant deal with Turkish Airlines, its first major agreement outside Saudi Arabia, to provide a comprehensive range of benefits for guests traveling between the Kingdom and Türkiye.
Also, at the Dubai Airshow, Riyadh Air and Lucid Motors agreed the first innovative partnership, aligned to a shared vision for the future of sustainable transportation and a commitment to exploring collaboration across marketing, commercial and operational streams.

Major technology, aviation and sport partnerships
In its first year, Riyadh Air signed several technology and engineering partnerships to unlock digital leadership in aviation sustainability, drive innovation and develop cutting-edge technologies to enhance Riyadh Air’s offerings, services, and operational models. Major agreements were agreed with Lufthansa Systems, IBM Consulting, Swiss AS, CAE, Microsoft, Oracle, Sabre and Accenture respectively. Riyadh Air’s first year ended on a high by agreeing ground-breaking partnerships with Adobe and IBM.
Riyadh Air signed its first multi-year partnership with leading Spanish football club, Atlético de Madrid, naming the airline as the main and official airline partner.

To mark the one-year anniversary, Riyadh Air has launched a “Riyadh Air Team” social media content campaign featuring reflections and perspectives from its staff members on the airline’s journey so far.

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