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New Saudi Airline Riyadh Air Becomes Sponsor Of Atletico de Madrid


  • Riyadh Air has signed a multi-year partnership with Atlético de Madrid, making the airline the official airline partner of the football club.
  • This is Riyadh Air’s first sports sponsorship since its launch in March 2023.
  • Through this partnership, Riyadh Air aims to reach millions of fans around the world.

The new Saudi startup Riyadh Air and the Spanish football club Atlético de Madrid announced today the signing of a multi-year partnership naming the airline as the main and official airline partner of the football club. This is the first sports sponsorship of the new company, following the steps of other Middle Eastern carriers that sponsor European football clubs, such as Emirates (Arsenal, AC Milan, Olympique Lyonnais, and Real Madrid), Etihad (Manchester City), and Qatar Airways (Barcelona).

Riyadh Air and Atlético de Madrid

Riyadh Air has signed its first sports sponsorship since its official launch on March 12, 2023. Riyad Air’s logo will be on the team’s kits starting this season. The new airline expects to reach millions of fans worldwide through this strategic partnership.

A Riyadh Air aircraft in Paris

Photo: Riyadh Air

Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Riyadh Air, said the company is excited to enter into a long-term partnership with Atlético de Madrid, one of Europe’s greatest clubs, becoming their main and official airline partner. Los Colchoneros, as the team is also known, has won 11 Spanish first-division titles and have been runner-ups in three Champions League titles, among other notable distinctions. Tony Douglas added,

“We believe that this partnership is a perfect match, as both Riyadh Air and Atletico share a commitment to excellence and a passion for connecting people and cultures around the world.”

Riyadh Air’s plans

The Saudi carrier was announced earlier this year. It signed an agreement for a widebody order of 39 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and expects to launch operations in 2025. Riyadh Air aims to become a disruptive new company from Saudi Arabia, flying to over 100 destinations, reaching 100 million visitors by 2030, making Riyadh City a hub for global travel, and encouraging visits to Saudi Arabia for business and leisure. Riyadh Air introduced the world to its new livery in June.

Following the steps of other successful Middle Eastern carriers (particularly Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad), Riyadh Air expects to “bring a new level of attention to detail to the guest experience and has technology that will raise the bar for the industry.” The airline expects Riyadh City to become a hub thanks to its location: 60% of the world’s population is within eight hours of flying time.

A Riyadh Air aircraft flies over Riyadh City

Photo: Riyadh Air

Nonetheless, unlike Emirates, Riyadh Air and Saudi Arabia are not keen on focusing on transit tourists. Instead, they want to promote the Middle Eastern Kingdom as a destination for both leisure and business.

At the same time, the development of King Salman International Airport is crucial to Riyadh Air and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. This airport is designed to be one of the biggest in the world, with six parallel runways and a capacity for 120 million passengers by 2030, rising to 185 million passengers and 3.5 million tons of cargo by 2050.

The airport will be a global logistical center linking three continents, upgrading all services and means of transportation, and promoting integration in the logistics services system in the Kingdom, Almotaz Almirah, an official spokesperson for aviation in Saudi Arabia, said Simple Flying earlier this year.

What do you think about this partnership? Which other team should Riyadh Air partner with? Let us know in the comments below.


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