Saudi privatises Jeddah and Dammam airports
Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority says it will privatise Jeddah and Dammam airports in 2017.
The announcement follows the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)’s decision taken in November last year to privatise the kingdom’s international and domestic airports, according to a five-year scheme that will begin in 2016.
It also comes nearly two weeks after Saudi Arabia unveiled its new budget for 2016. The kingdom ran a deficit of SAR367 billion in 2015 and announced a cut of SAR 326bn in spending for the current year due to the sharp plunge in crude prices.
Oil prices tumbled more than 60 per cent from $100 per barrel last year due to weak demand and oversupply.
The GACA had announced that the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh will be privatised under a new name: Riyadh Airports Company, in the first quarter of 2016.
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport will be privatised in the second and third quarters of 2017 respectively.
The Arab country’s airports handled more than 74 million travelers in 2014.
While international airports handled 62.7m passengers, domestic airports handled 12m passengers.