New Jeddah airport operator ‘by second half of 2019’

Passenger traffic at King Abdul Aziz International Airport reached a record 34 million in 2017. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 December 2018

New Jeddah airport operator ‘by second half of 2019’

  • The appointment will be made following the official inauguration of the new airport terminal
  • Passenger traffic at King Abdul Aziz International Airport reached a record 34 million in 2017, a 9.4 percent increase on 2016.

JEDDAH: A new private-sector operator of Jeddah airport will be appointed by the second half of next year, an aviation official confirmed to Arab News.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in February said it had terminated an agreement to allow a consortium consisting of Singapore’s Changi Airports International and Saudi Naval Support Company to manage King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

Abdul Hakim Al-Bader, assistant to the GACA president for safety, security and transport, said that a new operator would be appointed next year following the official inauguration of the new airport terminal.

The terminal opened earlier this year, but as a “soft launch” with a limited number of flights. 

“We wish to appoint the managing private company by the first half of 2019, but it is most likely to happen in the second half of the year,” Al-Bader said.

Saudi Arabia earlier announced plans for a massive $300 billion privatization of state assets, including a potential sale of a stake in Saudi Aramco worth as much as $100 billion.

The deal with Jeddah’s airport would not involve an outright sale of the facility, but allow a private-sector firm or consortium to invest in the airport as a partnership. 

“The process of privatization has already started, but I do not think that the airport will be privatized during the first half. However, the inauguration of the airport will be complete during the first half and an operator (from the private sector) will be selected in the second half of 2019,” Al-Bader said.

“The privatization of the airport does not mean selling it to the private sector, but only opening the door for the private sector to invest in the airport and operate it.”

Passenger traffic at King Abdul Aziz International Airport reached a record 34 million in 2017, a 9.4 percent increase on 2016.


$17 billion spent on private sector innovation in Saudi Arabia

Innovation is defined as a product, production process, or a new or improved method of organizing or marketing. (SPA)
Updated 13 min 49 sec ago

$17 billion spent on private sector innovation in Saudi Arabia

  • Innovation is defined as a product, production process, or a new or improved method of organizing or marketing

JEDDAH: Spending on innovation in Saudi Arabia’s private sector totaled more than SR64 billion ($17.5 billion) in 2018, a wide-ranging government survey revealed.
The Institutional Innovation Survey 2018, released by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) on Monday, also showed that spending on innovation reached 2.74 percent of the total expenditure in the private sector.
Results of the survey were published through GaStat’s website www.stats.gov.sa.
The survey also provides data on the size of innovation in enterprises and the local market, identifies the extent to which the market embraces new products, and provides data on the extent to which companies adopt new ideas and innovations.
Innovation is defined as a product, production process, or a new or improved method of organizing or marketing.