Closing Bell: Saudi main index dips to close at 11,621

RIYADH: The Cairo to Jeddah sector has been ranked as the second busiest international route during 2023, with 4.8 million seats, according to a report.

Launched by global travel data provider firm the Official Airline Guide, the report indicated a 2 percent capacity difference between first and second place.

This comes as 2023’s busiest international airline route was Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with 4.9 million seats.

This falls in line with the Kingdom’s aim of developing and upgrading all aviation sectors, including Saudi airlines, logistics services, cargo assistance, and other support divisions to boost its tourism efforts and aviation strategy in line with Vision 2030.

“Saudi Arabia is leading globally through aviation, achieving the highest increase in connectivity out of any country and outperforming global aviation growth rates,” the Kingdom’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, Saleh Al-Jasser, said at the Saudi Aviation Strategy Steering Committee. 

“The aviation sector is making a significant contribution to the Kingdom’s National Transport and Logistics Strategy, connecting Saudi Arabia to the world in support of Vision 2030,” Al-Jasser added. 

During the same event, General Authority of Civil Aviation President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej said: “2023 has been a record-breaking year for Saudi aviation — with the Kingdom carrying more passengers and connecting with more destinations than ever before.”

Al-Duailej added that this transformation is being led through the Saudi Aviation Strategy, which aims to target 330 million passengers, establish connectivity with 250 destinations, and hold a cargo capacity of 4.5 million tons by 2030. 

“The achievements are a testament to the work of the entire aviation sector and to the alignment achieved through the steering committee,” Al-Duailej highlighted. 

The report by OAG also reveals that Hong Kong to Taipei is the third busiest international route in 2023, with 4.6 million seats. This same route was also the most active in 2019, and capacity has dropped by 43 percent since then.

In addition to this, most routes in the international top 10 for 2023 have a capacity ranging between 9 percent and 43 percent below their 2019 levels.

Moreover, half of the flight paths in the top 10 busiest international routes did not appear on the same list in 2019.

Localized aircraft production is projected to grow 126 percent in Saudi Arabia over the next 20 years, said the head of an international organization dedicated to women in aviation earlier this week. 

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