RIYADH: Fueled by significant growth in the Saudi travel and tourism sector, air traffic witnessed a strong rebound during the first four months of 2023, recording a 42 percent increase in the number of passengers compared to the same period last year.
According to the latest report issued by the General Authority of Civil Aviation, 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.
Passenger volume reached about 35.8 million compared to the same period in 2019, when it recorded 33.7 million.
The number of flights, on the other hand, increased by 23.5 percent reaching approximately 263,000, up from 212,500 flights during the same period last year.
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 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.
In a further boost to the aviation industry, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of a new airline, Riyadh Air, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund.
The Kingdom also achieved another milestone in line with its National Aviation Strategy by launching a project to develop and expand Al-Ahsa International Airport and expand its capacity by 250 percent to reach 1 million passengers annually.
The Kingdom also scored well in the aviation security audit and was placed seventh among the G20 countries in this category.
The evaluation results by Skytrax, an international air transport organization, showed that the Kingdom’s airports continued to advance in the rankings of the 50 best airports in the world.
In keeping with its impressive track record, King Fahd International Airport has been named the best regional airport in the Middle East for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh advanced to 27th place from 44th, and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah reached 41st from 44th.
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