04 June . 2024

Riyadh Air and Air China to Strengthen Relations Following the Signing of MoU at IATA AGM in Dubai

  • Partnership will facilitate strong connectivity from both King Khalid International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport
  • Strong relationship between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China reflected by their national carriers forging closer ties

Riyadh Air, the newest national airline of Saudi Arabia, has demonstrated the importance of the Chinese market following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air China, China’s exclusive national flag carrier, on June 3, 2024, at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai.


Following the success of the recently started Air China flights between Beijing and Riyadh, both airlines signed the MoU to reflect the warm relationship between Saudi Arabia and China and their developing economic and political ties. The agreement will open significant opportunities for connectivity in both Beijing and Riyadh, two major G20 capital cities. Both airlines will work together on potential cooperation in business subjects, including interline traffic, codeshare and more.

Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air, said:

Our partnership with Air China, a leading global carrier with a vast network in key Chinese markets, complements Riyadh Air’s ambitious future plans. This MoU represents a significant step towards establishing a long-term partnership that will facilitate seamless travel for passengers between China and the Middle East and beyond. Together, we will solidify our positions as vital links, further strengthening the economic and cultural ties between our regions, and aligning with both China’s Belt and Road Initiatives and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Ma ChongXian, Chairman of Air China, said:

As China's economic influence continues to grow, contributing a significant share of global GDP, Riyadh Air is positioned as a strategic gateway for Chinese passengers seeking connections to the Middle East. The two airlines aim to play a critical role in facilitating trade and tourism exchanges, aligning with both nations' ambitious development plans.
The signing of this MoU marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership between two flagship carriers connecting the two capitals. With a focus on network expansion and collaboration, both airlines will work together to deepen their cooperation and achieve long-term success.

Chairman Ma commented.

Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia's innovative airline, celebrates its first year with ambitions to be the world's most forward-thinking carrier. By 2030, it aims to connect passengers to 100 destinations globally, prioritizing sustainability and setting a new standard for travel. As a key contributor to

Vision 2030, Riyadh Air fuels economic diversification and job creation, targeting KSA's non-oil GDP growth and over 200,000 new jobs.