Saudi Arabia’s aviation industry supported almost 1 million jobs in 2019 before the Covid pandemic struck.
Pandemic has put 3,61,000 jobs and SR 85 billion of GDP at risk.
Passengers number not expected to return to pre-pandemic Covid19 levels until 2024
RIYADH: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed measures taken by Saudi Arabia to revive the aviation industry as it battles to save more than a quarter of million related jobs in the Kingdom amid a downturn in travel due to pandemic.
In 2019, Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector supported 9,77,000 jobs and SR 240 billion ($64 billion) of GDP, IATA said in a statement. The pandemic has put 3,61,000 of those jobs and SR 85 billion of GDP at risk, while passengers demand is not expected to return to 2019 levels before 2024, it said.
Saudi Arabia is going to opening up the Kingdom for tourists; removing quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers; expanding the facilitation of religious traffic to the holy cities; reinstating visa processing for international passengers; enhancing systems and health measures across all airports.
“We welcome recent steps taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to restore air travel and enhance passenger experience during a challenging time for aviation,” said Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s regional vice president for Africa and Middle East. “Saudi Arabia recognizes aviation as a catalyst for economic growth and modernization, and we are pleased to see the Kingdom’s continued prioritization of aviation as a key to achieving Vision 2030.”
“After more than one year of border closures, the kick-off of the National Aviation Strategy will bring to life plans to triple the number of passengers to the Kingdom and fly to 250 destinations,” he said.