Saudi Arabia to privatize Jeddah airport by first half of 2019

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) plans to appoint a private company to manage King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah by the first half of next year, the authority confirmed to Zawya by email.

Earlier this year, the GACA terminated a concession agreement with Singapore’s Changi Airports International and Saudi Naval Services to operate the airport in Jeddah, after awarding the contract last year for a period of 20 years.

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) witnessed a record number of passengers in 2017 reaching 34 million, a 9.4 percent increase over the year earlier, Arab News reported, citing figures from a KAIA report.

The privatization of the airport in Jeddah is part of a larger plan by the kingdom to corporatize its airports, with transport being identified as a priority sector in the overall privatization reform plan for several industries.

However, sources told Reuters in April this year that the privatization plan for the kingdom’s second biggest airport, King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, has been put on hold.

Saudi Arabia had announced earlier that it plans to raise around $200 billion through privatization programs in 16 sectors ranging from airports, oil, healthcare and education among others.

Source: Thomson Reuters Zawya

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