Recent statistics from domestic airports in Saudi Arabia have reported significant growth in number of flights, as reported by The Saudi Gazette.
The airports catered to a total of 6,671,878 passengers up to June 2015, which represents 11.8% increase compared to 5,969,428 passengers in 2014. These figures were released by Sulaiman Bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
International flights recorded 1,348,764 passengers with 28.8% increase compared to 1,063,837 passengers for the same period last year. Domestic flights carried 5,085,864 passengers with 7.8% increase compared to 4,795,563 passengers for the same period last year.
Private flights carried 237,273 passengers, showing 31.8% increase compared to 180,028 passengers of the same period in 2014, while flights conducted in 2015 reached 60,417 flights with 9.1% increase compared to the same period last year.
Al-Hamdan said: “As a result of this growth and continuous demand, GACA has granted Nile Air permission to operate from Jouf Regional Airport to Cairo International Airport in Egypt and also granted Air Arabia permission to operate from Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Tabuk to Sharqah Airport in the UAE.”
Nile Air began its operations with two flights a week between Jouf and Cairo, while Air Arabia will begin operations on 20 August 2015 with four flights a week between Tabuk and Sharqah.
Al-Hamdan said that the number of international airlines operating in Jouf Airport will increase to four carriers: Air Arabia, Fly Dubai , Nesma Airlines and Nile Air , while Tabuk’s Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Airport will have six carriers: Air Arabia, AlMasria Universal Airlines, Fly Dubai , Nesma Airlines, Nile Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines.
He added that licensing the two carriers is part of GACA’s strategic plan to attract new airlines to operate in the various regional airports in Saudi Arabia, transforming them into international airports with new international destinations from different parts of the kingdom.