By Ed Attwood
State carrier sees healthy rise amid plans to increase its fleet to 200 aircraft by 2020
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has posted a near 5 percent growth in passengers in 2015 compared to the year before.
News agency AFP reported that the state airline flew 29,492,710 passengers last year, up about 1.3 million from 2014.
In its most recent full-year results, Emirates also reported a 5 percent rise in passenger numbers, to 51.9 million.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, meanwhile, saw a 19 percent increase in passengers to 17.6 million. Qatar Airways also reported a 19 percent rise in passengers to 22.4 million.
Saudia will face renewed competition over the next year or so, with several new airlines launching services in a domestic market that the state-owned carrier has previously dominated alongside Flynas.
In June last year, Saudia ordered 50 new aircraft from Airbus at a cost of $8 billion, as part of plans to expand its fleet to 200 jets by 2020.
probably Indian expats returning home for good