Record 41 million passengers visit Jeddah airport in 2018

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King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah hit a new record for passenger traffic in 2018. (SPA)
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King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah hit a new record for passenger traffic in 2018. (SPA)
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King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah hit a new record for passenger traffic in 2018. (SPA)
Updated 27 January 2019

Record 41 million passengers visit Jeddah airport in 2018

JEDDAH: Passenger traffic at King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah hit a new record in 2018, with 41.2 million people traveling through, the highest annual number in its history. 
The number rose by 20 percent compared with 2017, in which there were 34 million passengers.
KAIA's statistical report for 2018 showed that the airport handled 340,333 flights. 
The South Terminal saw its highest number of passengers in 2018, with 23.1 million people traveling through it, aboard 197,314 flights, while 10.5 million passengers traveled through the North Terminal and boarded 90,855 flights.
The report also showed that 7.3 million passengers traveled through the complex of the Hajj and Umrah terminals, aboard 48,241 flights, while 385,729 passengers traveled through the new Terminal 1, aboard 3,923 flights.
The airport’s general director, Essam bin Fouad Nour, said that the economic renaissance in Saudi Arabia and visits by pilgrims to the holy places via KAIA, which serves as the gate to the Two Holy Mosques, had made it a vital departure point for passengers and international airlines. 
He added: “I expect the airport to see additional growth in the coming years.” 
Nour said that in addition to operating beyond its current capacity, KAIA has seen its highest air traffic in 2018. “The air traffic is continuously growing, especially during Hajj and Umrah seasons,” he said.
“Tourism inflows, economic activity and the number of carriers wishing to operate from and to KAIA have increased in 2018,” he said. The rise in air traffic and growing numbers of passengers and aircraft are a major challenge for KAIA during the transition to the new terminal as it has a responsibility to the continuity of service delivery with high efficiency until the full operation of the new Terminal 1.
Nour confirmed that flights to 11 destinations have been transferred to the new terminal, with more than 80 flights per week carrying hundreds of passengers. He said that flights to more destinations are expected to be added in the next period. 
“The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) was quick to implement this ambitious project, which is a paradigm shift in the region’s air transport market and a quantum leap toward global competitiveness in the airport market,” he said. 


Saudi housing program allocates monthly record 21,000 building plots

Updated 52 min 28 sec ago

Saudi housing program allocates monthly record 21,000 building plots

  • Riyadh received the largest issue of free lands

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Housing allocated a monthly record of 20,907 plots for residential property building during October, according to official figures.

Riyadh received the largest issue of free lands under the ministry’s Sakani program at 4,443, with Makkah second on 2,797 and Eastern Province getting 2,205.

A statement from program officials said October had seen the biggest batch of land distribution across the Kingdom in preparation for the construction of housing units by beneficiaries, a situation made possible due to the electronic streamlining of the application process.

Other parts of the Kingdom to receive land allocations were Qassim (2,140), Madinah (2,058), Asir (1,665), Najran (1,301), Jazan (1,258), Hail (1,192), Northern Borders (809), Al-Baha (542), Jouf (420), and Tabuk (77).

“This comes as a continuation of the housing support Sakani provides throughout the Kingdom,” the statement said. “The handing of free lands will continue at the ministry’s branches, with areas ranging between 450 and 527 square meters each.”

It added that beneficiaries could complete procedures and choose appropriate housing plans online by visiting https://sakani.housing.sa/plans-map.

“Free lands are one of the options provided by the program. Beneficiaries may also apply for villas among the ministry’s projects, buy an under-construction residential unit in partnership with the private sector, buy a finished housing unit off the market, or acquire a 100 percent subsidized profit mortgage for landowners.”

Phase three of the 2019 Sakani program includes 200,000 housing and financing options, among them 50,000 free lands, 50,000 housing units in cooperation with the private sector, and 100,000 subsidized mortgages for the beneficiaries of the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) in partnership with banks and financial institutions.