x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

New Jeddah airport has soft opening in preparation for full operations in 2019

The facility will have the capacity to handle 80 million passengers a year

Muslim pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport on August 26, 2017, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca. The old airpot welcomed a record number of travellers last year. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB
Muslim pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport on August 26, 2017, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca. The old airpot welcomed a record number of travellers last year. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB

Saudi Arabia’s new King Abdulaziz International Airport in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah had a soft opening on Tuesday as the facility gears up to be in full operation in the first quarter of next year, state-run SPA news agency reported.

Operations at the airport will be ramped up over four phases to enable full domestic and international flights next year, said Abdulhakim Al Tamimi, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia, the agency reported on Tuesday.

The first phase, running from May includes the soft opening, to be followed by a second phase between July and September, which will receive domestic flights during those periods, said Mr Al Tamimi.

The third phase running between November and December will feature all of the domestic flights, while the fourth phase between January and March will include full domestic and international flights through the airport's 46 gates.

________________

Read more:

Saudi Arabia appoints new transport minister as part of kingdom's economic overhaul

________________

The airport, which cost 36 billion riyals, is an important gateway to pilgrims going to the nearby holy cities of Medina and Mecca for pilgrimage. It is expected to have a capacity to welcome 80 million passengers annually.

The old Jeddah airport handled a record 34 million passengers last year, a 9.4 per cent increase from 2016.