RIYADH: Al Ahsa Airport capacity will more than double, with the expectations of regional fast growth, the CEO at Dammam Airports Co. said.
Al Ahsa Airport, situated in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, has a capacity of around 400,000 passengers, but aims to reach 1 million, Fahad Alharbi told Arab News at the Future Aviation Forum held in Riyadh.
The facility is mainly used by Saudi Aramco, but before the pandemic struck there was commercial activity from two or three local destinations, and another two or three international sites.
Speaking of operations during the pandemic, Alharbi said that all airlines stopped.
“Now we're activating. We're connected so we are aligned with the tourism strategy. We sat down with them, and we told them, this is what we have, and what is expected to be welcome in Al-Ahsa, or in Al Qaisumah or even in Dammam,” he said.
On the recovery, Dammam Airports Co. CEO said they are one of the highest in terms of growth in the aviation sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, with recovery percentage returning at 85 percent of 2019 numbers.
“We're going to move from 100 million passengers in 2019, to 330 million by 2030. We're going to move from 100 destinations to 250 destinations,” Alharbi said.
“We have more airplanes requested by the country from multiple national players. We have...a new airline. We have a lot of new developed airports,” he said.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued royal decrees earlier this month that included the establishment of Al-Ahsa Development Authority.
The board of directors for the Al-Ahsa Development Authority was formed on Thursday, to be headed by Prince Ahmed bin Fahd bin Salman, deputy governor of the Eastern Province, Saudi Press Agency reported citing a royal order.
The authority will work to enhance the potential of the governorates while helping in developing the tourism, heritage, and cultural components, according to SPA.
The authority will also contribute to creating a balanced and sustainable development environment that supports the governorate’s economy and promotes development, modernization and diversity.