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Sun 17 Jan 2016 03:37 PM

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Jeddah airport faces “grave challenge” as passenger traffic rises to 30m in 2015

Increasing amount of air traffic movement has left it three times over what it was designed to manage

Jeddah airport faces “grave challenge” as passenger traffic rises to 30m in 2015

An estimated 30 million passengers travelled through King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2015, representing an increase of 6.6 percent from the previous year, it was reported on Sunday.

Emirates 24/7 quoted the airport’s director Abdullah Al Rimi as saying the airport has witnessed an increasing amount of air traffic movement and is currently three times overcapacity.

“The [number of] air transport companies operating to and from the airport have gone up from 64 to 80 last year, and they reach 100 companies during the Haj and Umrah seasons.

“[The 2015 passenger figure] is the highest in all the kingdom’s airports.”

The high number poses a “grave challenge” to the airport in its transitional period before the shift to Jeddah’s new airport, scheduled to complete in mid-2016 and become fully operational by the middle of next year.

“We have a big responsibility to provide excellent services to the passengers and to all airline companies using the airport,” Rimi added.

“[Once opened], the new airport will be a quantum leap in air travel industry in the region and will enable the kingdom to compete with the world in the domain of airport and passenger service.”

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