Saudi Arabian start-up carrier Riyadh Air has provisionally agreed to enter a strategic co-operation with Turkish Airlines.
The agreement is set to include codeshare and interline operations between Riyadh and Istanbul, and the deal will also cover “points beyond”, the Saudi carrier says.
“Guests of both airlines will be able to take full advantage of each carrier’s worldwide network,” it states.
Both operators are also looking to develop a broad loyalty programme covering their combined networks.
Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance.
Riyadh Air chief executive Tony Douglas says the tie-up is a “very significant step” in the development of the new carrier.
He says the agreement will provide “seamless connectivity” through Istanbul to around 130 destinations and will “accelerate our network footprint”.
“Bilateral agreements with established network airlines are extremely important to Riyadh Air and there are significant benefits to this partnership,” he adds.
Riyadh Air and Turkish Airlines unveiled the memorandum of understanding at an ICAO air services negotiation conference in the Saudi capital.
Along with the network and codeshare scheme it will allow the airlines to explore synergies in other areas, including cargo and digital development.
The airlines aim to implement the agreement “as soon as possible” after Riyadh Air commences services in mid-2025, the Saudi carrier states.
Turkish Airlines chief investment and technology officer Levent Konukcu says the agreement is “more than a collaboration”.
“We believe this partnership will not only benefit our customers but also contribute significantly to the tourism and business sectors of both countries,” he says.