By Sarah Townsend
Jeddah airport received 30.1 million passengers; authorities under pressure to complete new one this year
Airports across Saudi Arabia together recorded a 9.5 percent hike in the total number of passengers in 2015, to 81.9 million from 74.8 million in 2014.
According to official reports, there was also a 9.8 percent increase in total number of flights recorded – to around 64.6 million from around 58.9 million in 2014.
WAM, citing the Saudi Press Agency, said the kingdom’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) figures revealed that Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport recorded 30.1 million passengers and 212,799 flights, and King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh recorded 22.5 million passengers and 172,754 flights.
King Fahd International Airport in Damman received 9.4 million passengers and 84,803 flights, and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah received 6.3 million passengers and 48,296 flights.
GACA added that a total of 23 regional and domestic airports across Saudi Arabia recorded 13.5 million passengers and 128,041 flights.
The news will heap further pressure on the authorities to complete Jeddah’s new airport this year as planned.
The airport’s director, Abdullah Al Rimi, was quoted as saying last month that the high number of passengers to the kingdom’s main airport poses a “grave challenge” to the airport’s operations in its transitional period before the shift to the new airport in mid-2016.