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Saudi’s Riyadh Air partners with CellPoint Digital for payments

By Gloria Methri

June 12, 2024

  • Airlines Payments
  • CellPoint Digital
  • Cross Border Payments
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CellPoint DigitalCellPoint Digital, Riyadh Air, Payment Orchestration, Cross Border Payments, Airline Payments, FinTech, Saudi Arabia, MENA, the payment solutions provider to the airline industry, has announced a partnership with Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s newest national airline. CellPoint Digital will equip the carrier with innovative payment technology to fuel its digital-first business strategy as it prepares to launch commercial operations in 2025.

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

Based in Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh Air will launch commercial operations by mid-2025. The $30 billion start-up airline aims to connect the country to 100 regional and international destinations by 2030, leveraging the kingdom’s location between Asia, Africa and Europe.

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.

“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, taking 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, preventing the customer from abandoning the booking and driving revenue for Riyadh Air.

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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