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RIYADH: Ten out of the 11 airports in Saudi Arabia that received passengers’ complaints in February resolved them on time, according to the General Authority of Civil Aviation. 

In its monthly classification for air transport service providers, GACA highlighted the performance of airlines and related transport hubs based on traveler complaints filed during the second month of 2024. 

As per the authority’s assessment, King Khalid International Airport led among international terminals with over 6 million passengers annually, registering a mere 20 complaints. This translates to 1 percent per 100,000 flyers, coupled with a resolution rate of 100 percent. 

According to GACA data, Prince Mohammed International Airport and King Fahad International Airport each recorded eight and seven complaints, respectively, in February. This corresponds to 1 percent per 100,000 travelers, with both aviation facilities successfully addressing 100 percent of those issues.

However, King Abdulaziz International Airport garnered the most grievances in this category last month, with 32 recorded. Of these, 97 percent were resolved on time. 

Meanwhile, Prince Sultan International Airport emerged as the standout performer among international terminals with less than 6 million passengers annually, receiving only two complaints. This is equivalent to 1 percent per 100,000 air service users, with a resolution rate matching that of King Khalid International Airport. 

In this section, Taif International Airport recorded just one grievance in February, Abha International Airport registered five issues, King Abdullah International Airport logged four incidents, and Al Jouf Airport received only two concerns. All of the air bases were able to resolve these complaints on time. 

Among domestic aerodromes, Gurayat Domestic Airport boasted the fewest incidents, with just 1 recorded, accounting for 5 percent per 100,000 passengers, alongside a resolution rate of 100 percent. 

Rafha Domestic Airport documented two grievances, equating to 26 percent per 100,000 flyers, yet resolved them all on time. 

Among the prevalent cases received by GACA are issues concerning boarding procedures, employee conduct, and services for individuals with disabilities or limited mobility. 

According to the authority, a total of 1,011 cases were lodged regarding Saudi air carriers in February. 

Among the airlines, flynas emerged with the lowest number of incidents, standing at 10 per 100,000 travelers, boasting a resolution rate of 100 percent. 

SAUDIA followed closely, with 11 complaints per 100,000 flyers, and 84 percent of them were addressed. 

Flyadeal secured the third spot, with 13 such cases per 100,000 passengers, and 96 percent of them were settled on time. 

The most prevalent grievances among passengers in February pertained to luggage, flight operations, and ticketing issues. 

In a bid to further support its partners, the airports, GACA has developed a comprehensive booklet outlining guidelines for handling complaints, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The document, distributed among airfield operators, delineates service agreements and the requisite protocols for addressing various complaints and inquiries. 

Moreover, GACA conducts regular workshops to train employees of national carriers and ground service companies on adhering to passenger protection regulations. This ensures a high standard of service delivery and passenger satisfaction across the aviation sector. 

Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in its aviation industry, prioritizing infrastructure development, enhanced connectivity, and the establishment of Riyadh Air.  

These efforts have led to Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport experiencing a recovery of over 75 percent in 2022, as reported by the Airport Connectivity Report released by the Airports Council International in September 2023. 

This comes as Saudi air connectivity surged to 13th place in 2023 from 27th in 2019 as the Kingdom now has aviation routes established with more than 131 destinations worldwide, according to the International Air Transport Association’s index in 2023. 

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