RIYADH: With the introduction of several new routes, Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector witnessed an 11 percent growth in the number of flights in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to a report by Cluster 2, a Riyadh-based firm that manages and operates 22 airports around the Kingdom.
The report indicated that flights in the second quarter of the year increased from 30,898 to 34,326 on an annual basis with passengers rising from 3.16 million to 3.7 million, a 17 percent year-on-year growth.
The report stated that the average daily flights for the second quarter were 377, with an average daily passenger count of 40,759.
This is also marks an increase from the figures of 2022 which recorded 340 daily flights with 34,789 passengers, a 7 and 13 percent growth, respectively.
New routes have been established in the second quarter of the year, with operations being started on Jazan-Cairo, Al Jowf-Tbilisi, Jazan-Dubai and Al Qassim-Istanbul routes as well as Al Qassim-Trabzon and Al Qassim-Tbilisi sectors.
According to the latest report released by the General Authority of Civil Aviation in May, the number of passengers jumped to 35.8 million in the first four months of 2023, up from 25.3 million during the same period last year.
The Kingdom’s airports also witnessed a marked increase in air traffic during 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels, growing at a rate of 6.2 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
On the domestic front, the number of passengers increased by 6.7 percent in the first four months of 2023, reaching 16.3 million, up from 15.3 million during the same period last year, the GACA report stated.
The number of passengers on international flights showed a remarkable jump, surging by 95.5 percent to 19.5 million, up from 10 million passengers in the same period last year.
Established in 2013, Cluster 2 is a subsidiary of Matarat Holding which manages 27 airports around the Kingdom.
Matarat aims to develop the Kingdom’s aviation sector and improve the performance of its airports through its subsidiaries.
Riyadh Airports Co., Jeddah Airports Co. and Dammam Airports Co. are also under Matarat’s umbrella.