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Saudi aviation and maritime networks receive ranking boost

Saudi Arabia now connects 131 destinations worldwide, thus moving up to the 13th rank from 27 in 2019

As a result of improved global connectivity, Saudi Arabia recently witnessed a rise in the rankings of its aviation and maritime networks.

According to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association, Saudi Arabia now connects 131 destinations worldwide, thus moving up to the 13th rank from 27 in 2019.

Just over two years have passed since the Saudi Cabinet gave the go-ahead to the ‘Civil Aviation Sector Strategy’, which aims to improve the Kingdom’s aviation connectivity to 250 destinations worldwide and transport 330 million people by 2030.

By tripling its air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons by the end of this decade, the Kingdom also hopes to act as a hub for international logistics.

According to the Saudi Ports Authority, the Kingdom’s marine connectivity ranking by the United Nations improved in the second quarter of 2023, thus moving up to the 16th spot.

In this latest UN Conference on Trade and Development Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, Saudi Arabia placed 76.16th out of 187 nations.

The survey also stated that 97 Saudi ports connected the Kingdom to about 348 ports worldwide.

Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, pointed out that backing the ports industry and the overall transportation and logistics system makes such success possible.

Al-Jasser, the head of Mawani’s board of directors, continued further by saying that the government support also strengthened Saudi Arabia’s position on the world map.

According to a report issued by the General Authority of Civil Aviation in May 2023, Saudi Arabia’s aviation traffic experienced a remarkable resurgence during the first four months of 2023, driven by a significant increase in the country’s travel and tourism industries.

Compared to the same period in 2022, Saudi Arabia’s aviation traffic saw a 42% rise in passengers, reaching 35.8 million in the first four months of 2023.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, flight traffic at the Kingdom’s airports increased noticeably in 2023, expanding at a rate of 6.2% over the same period in 2019.

With a 94.4% score on the International Civil Aviation Organization safety audit report, the Kingdom ranked seventh among the G20 nations regarding aviation safety.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier in 2023 created a brand-new airline, Riyadh Air, which the Public Investment Fund owns, providing a further boost to the aviation sector. The airline will make its first appearance in front of a global audience during the upcoming Paris Air Show.

By beginning a project to develop and expand Al-Ahsa International Airport and increase its capacity by 250% to handle 1 million passengers annually, the Kingdom has also achieved another significant milestone in line with its ‘National Aviation Strategy’.

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