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Saudi’s new airports set ambitious goal: 330 million visitors

The kingdom is striving to enhance its global air connectivity by reaching more than 250 destinations and is actively seeking to attract $100 billion in investments.

Saudi’s new airports set ambitious goal: 330 million visitors
[Source photo: PIF]

Saudi Arabia is pursuing global connectivity and economic growth through ambitious aviation initiatives.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia announced its 330-million-visitor target by 2030, tripling pre-pandemic tourism numbers. And last year, the kingdom launched Riyadh Air, a state-owned airline backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), further solidifying its commitment to aviation dominance.

The kingdom is making significant strides towards achieving its Vision 2030 goal of becoming a major aviation hub. Ambitious plans were unveiled at the “Wings India 2024” conference on Thursday.

Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), has confirmed implementing a “comprehensive plan” to position the kingdom as the premier air travel destination in the Middle East. This plan encompasses upgrading and developing airports, airlines, aircraft, facilities, and shipping and logistics services.

The kingdom has set ambitious goals, including enhancing air connectivity to over 250 global destinations, attracting $100 billion in investments, and annually welcoming 330 million passengers. A notable focus is minimizing transit traffic, with a target of only 10% (33 million) of the total passenger count.

Beyond passenger travel, Saudi Arabia envisions itself as a global logistics powerhouse, strategically connecting three continents.

“The kingdom hopes to bring about a major qualitative shift in air freight and logistics services to increase the capacity of air freight from 0.8 million tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes by 2030, as this represents one of the most ambitious initiatives to attract global air carriers, logistics service providers and multinational companies to the kingdom,” Duailej said.

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