Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Duailej, President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and Kamel Hassan Al-Awadi, Vice President of the International Air Transport Association for the Africa and Middle East region, signed a headquarters agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and IATA to establish its regional office in the Kingdom.
In addition to a new airline and the possibility of a new airport, Saudi Arabia is also looking to open over 250 international aviation routes and increase annual capacity at King Khalid International Airport and King Abdulaziz International Airport
The signing of this agreement not only aligns with the Kingdom’s interest in supporting and promoting the role of regional and international civil aviation organizations, but also contributes to the Kingdom’s distinguished efforts to empower organisations based in the Kingdom through providing various forms of support to assist in their role of contributing to the development of the field of air transport. The presence of the regional office of the IATA in the Kingdom will augment the provision of the necessary support for air transport companies within the Kingdom and the region through providing consultations and training courses, as well as providing the civil aviation industry in the Kingdom with data and information related to international air transport.
POSSIBLE NEW RIYADH AIRPORT
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is also considering pouring investments into a new international airport in Riyadh, which may serve as a base for the country’s new airline, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.
Expecting tourist arrivals to increase sharply, the PIF had earlier also announced that it aimed to increase investments in aviation to support Saudi Arabia tourism. This includes a new airline alongside the national carrier Saudia. The new airline would focus on tourists and business travellers, whereas Saudia would cater to religious tourism, the
In addition to a new airline and the possibility of a new airport, Saudi Arabia is also looking to open over 250 international aviation routes and increase annual capacity at King Khalid International Airport and King Abdulaziz International Airport. Saudi Arabia currently has six operational airports, of which King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh are the biggest.
By 2030, the country aims to triple annual passenger traffic to 330 million. So far, the size of the facility and the construction timeline for the new airport have not been decided, and the PIF could decide to shelve the plans altogether, the report added.
As part of Vision 2030, and as a means to diversify the economy, Saudi Arabia tourism has been receiving a lot of attention from both a policy and investment level. Three key government wings – The Ministry of Tourism, the Saudi Tourism Authority and a $4 billion Tourism Development Fund – have been established to help the industry reach certain benchmarks.
By 2022, Saudi Arabia tourism is expected to contribute 5.3 per cent to the GDP, and twice that by 2030. Moreover, the country also anticipates to receive about 30 million international visitors next year, and 55 million by 2030.
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