Riyadh Air, Delta Unveil Strategic Partnership

Riyadh Air and Delta Air Lines planes. Asharq Al-Awsat
Riyadh Air and Delta Air Lines planes. Asharq Al-Awsat
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Riyadh Air, Delta Unveil Strategic Partnership

Riyadh Air and Delta Air Lines planes. Asharq Al-Awsat
Riyadh Air and Delta Air Lines planes. Asharq Al-Awsat

Riyadh Air has partnered with US carrier Delta Air Lines with the goal of operating flights between Saudi Arabia and the United States, the airlines said on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Atlanta-based Delta will serve as Riyadh Air's exclusive partner in North America, offering its customers access to hundreds of US destinations.

For Delta's customers, the partnership will open new destinations in Saudi Arabia, the airlines said. The US carrier also plans to launch future nonstop service to Riyadh.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian and Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas said they envision selling tickets on each other’s flights — a practice known as codesharing.



Saudi Emerging Technology Adoption Index Rises to 70.7%

The “LEAP 2024” conference saw $1 billion in funding for emerging technology ventures in Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The “LEAP 2024” conference saw $1 billion in funding for emerging technology ventures in Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Emerging Technology Adoption Index Rises to 70.7%

The “LEAP 2024” conference saw $1 billion in funding for emerging technology ventures in Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The “LEAP 2024” conference saw $1 billion in funding for emerging technology ventures in Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The performance index of Saudi government agencies in “Emerging Technologies Adoption” has improved significantly by 10% compared to last year, rising from 60.3% in 2023 to 70.7% in 2024.
This improvement is driven by an increase in the number of participating government entities, which grew from 13 to 35.
This progress was detailed in the annual report released by the Digital Government Authority (DGA), highlighting the readiness of government entities to embrace emerging technologies in 2024.
The rise in the adoption index reflects a broader participation and growing interest aligned with the Kingdom’s goals to foster innovation and support modern technologies.
It also underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to sustainable development and building an advanced digital future under the “Vision 2030” initiative, which positions digital transformation as a cornerstone of its future vision.
The report also highlighted advancements in various capacities for adopting emerging technologies.
This heightened focus on adopting emerging technologies coincides with a transformative period for the Kingdom's digital government, which is leveraging cutting-edge technologies to deliver superior services to citizens, residents, and visitors, playing a crucial role in the journey towards the future.
Saudi Arabia has integrated numerous emerging technologies into government services, enhancing efficiency, automating services, saving time and effort, and promoting transparency.
Globally, the leading emerging technologies in digital governments include artificial intelligence (AI), which is used to improve government services, the Internet of Things (IoT) for data collection and analysis, virtual reality for providing interactive citizen experiences, and 3D printing for manufacturing parts and components.
Notably, Saudi Arabia ranked first globally in the Government AI Readiness Index, a part of the Global AI Index by Tortoise Intelligence, which assesses over 60 countries. Germany and China ranked second and third, respectively.
Saudi Arabia achieved a perfect score in the index’s criteria, which include having a dedicated national AI strategy, a specific government entity for AI, allocated funding and budget for AI, and defined national AI targets.