New Jeddah airport to be ready by mid-2017

Updated 25 October 2015
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New Jeddah airport to be ready by mid-2017

JEDDAH: The new upgraded King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah will open for full operations in mid-2017, according to the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), the country’s regulatory body.

Construction on the new facility and testing of all equipment would be completed at the end of 2016, said Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, GACA’s director general and chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), a local publication reported Friday.
Al-Hamdan on Thursday laid the foundation stone for a new Saudia building in the support area next to the airport’s new building. Saleh Al-Jasser, director general of Saudia, was also present at the ceremony.
At a press conference later on Thursday in the operations building, Al-Jasser said the SR350 million Saudia facility would also be ready by mid-2017, as part of its strategic program that includes fleet development, expansion of its flight network, and installation of the latest information technology.
Al-Jasser said the new building would allow Saudia to administer all operations under one roof. The plan is eventually to increase the number of flights from 500 to 1,000 a day, which would be one of the highest airline operations in the world, he said.
He said the Kingdom’s airports would increase the number of passengers they handle from the current figure of 28 million to 45 million by 2020, a goal that has been laid down in GACA’s operational plan.
On privatization, he said Saudia has taken significant steps in certain areas including supplies and types of services, and setting up companies with shares owned by the public.
Al-Jasser said the entry of a third airline company in Saudi Arabia was no problem for Saudia and would be good for competition. He was referring to the plan by Qatar Airways to launch Al-Maha airline company to operate along local routes in the Kingdom.
Al-Maha would reportedly initially operate flights from Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Abha and Qassim. Qatar Airways already operates international flights between Doha and Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Taif, Qassim, Al-Ahsa and Madinah.


Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief chief meets UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen

Updated 6 min 7 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief chief meets UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen

JEDDAH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), met on Saturday with Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, at the center’s headquarters in Riyadh.
They discussed means of cooperating and providing support to the mechanism of humanitarian and relief work in Yemen.
They also reviewed operations taking place on the ground, as well as subjects of common interest.
Al-Rabeeah showcased the humanitarian assistance provided by KSRelief in Yemen, and the 321 projects it has implemented there so far.
Topics discussed included the $500 million grant from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to the UN “to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people in 2018,” he said.
“We also examined the mechanism ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches all Yemenis without exception,” he added.
“The meeting looked into ways to avoid Houthi violations when it comes to humanitarian aid, especially those related to the looting of aid provided by the World Food Programme (WFP),” Al-Rabeeah said, adding that they discussed “our strategic partnership” in 2019 and alleviating the famine in Yemen.
Grande said the meeting was of great importance, adding: “It discussed the famine in Yemen, possible solutions, and how to provide rapid assistance to the Yemeni people.”
She said: “The Kingdom’s contribution through KSRelief is crucial. The center provided us with tips on how to put an end to the famine in Yemen.”
She added: “We have to help Yemeni families so they can have a proper source of income. We seek to develop the work environment to facilitate the task for humanitarian workers.”
Grande stressed the importance of addressing all violations, and expressed her happiness at Yemeni officials agreeing to allow the WFP to use a fingerprint system to identify beneficiaries.