Air transportation

Saudi Arabian airports are the busiest in the Middle East. KSA has a 29% market share of air traffic in the region, followed by the United Arab Emirates (21%), Iran (13%), Egypt (12%) and nine other Middle Eastern countries.

In 2009 Saudi Arabia's 26 airports handled a total of over 41.70 million passengers and 530,600 tonnes of cargo and mail.

KSA's four principal airports are:

  • King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA), Jeddah
  • King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh
  • King Fahd International Airport, Dammam
  • Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Medina

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Saudi Arabia's airports are being constantly upgraded to enhance facilities and increase capacity. At KAIA, for example, aircraft as large as the Airbus A380 can now be accommodated and the airport development masterplan envisages a total capacity of 70 million-80 million passengers a year by 2035.

KAIA is the main operational base of KSA's flag carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines. Founded in 1946, the airline is the second largest in the Middle East, carries over 18 million passengers a year and serves 90 destinations worldwide.

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