Payment solutions provider, CellPoint Digital, has agreed a new partnership with Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s newest national airline. CellPoint Digital will equip the carrier with payment technology as it prepares to launch in 2025.

The partnership supplies Riyadh Air with CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform. This enables the carrier to process local and cross-border transactions efficiently. Riyadh Air’s vision is to disrupt a Saudi Arabian commercial aviation market dominated by legacy players like Emirates and Etihad. Achieving this vision requires an innovative approach to payments. That is one that prioritises optimised transaction routing, seamless cross-border payments, and making a wide variety of payment options available to international and domestic passengers.

The next chapter in the global story of Saudi Arabian air travel

Riyadh Air will be based in Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. The launch represents an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s mission to reinvent itself as a global aviation hub. The $30bn start-up airline aims to connect the country to 100 regional and international destinations by 2030. It says that it will leverage the kingdom’s location between Asia, Africa and Europe and create over 200,000 jobs. Riyadh Air’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter Bellew, has announced that the airline plans to recruit around 300 pilots and cabin crew members by spring 2025, to commence its operations.

CellPoint Digital Payment Orchestration: developed specifically for global airlines

“While legacy airlines can be held back by legacy technology, a next-generation airline like Riyadh Air can start from a more advanced position by using tailored technology that’s built for now, not 20 years ago,” said Kristian Gjerding, CEO at CellPoint Digital. “With our Payment Orchestration solution developed specifically for the unique challenges faced by global airlines, Riyadh Air can offer travellers their preferred payment options while gaining more control over its cash flow and costs.”

CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform uses intelligent routing. This takes into consideration the pricing, processing and acceptance currency and geographical location of the processor, and increasing the success rate of transactions. In this way, Payment Orchestration minimises the number of declined transactions and prevents the customer from abandoning the booking.

Adam Boukadida, Riyadh Air’s CFO, added: “As a disruptor airline prioritising our digital capabilities, we need a payments partner with first-hand, in-depth knowledge of air travel. CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform enables us to offer travellers a fully digital experience onboard and a smoother booking experience. Not only that, but CellPoint Digital has been supporting us with its expertise and extensive consultancy services throughout the sales process and our quest to secure international partnerships.”

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