Air Transport in Saudi Arabia
Air Transport in Saudi Arabia Last updated on Sunday 25th April 2010
Because of the long distances, which separate the main towns of the country, air travel is often the most convenient and practical way to travel within the Kingdom. The national airline, Saudia, operates a comprehensive network of domestic flights.
From Riyadh to Jeddah is a flight of just over an hour; from Riyadh to Dhahran on the east coast is a flight of just under an hour. There are about 24 domestic airports in the Kingdom and charter flights are available for transportation to some of the more remote desert sites.
Saudi Arabia has three international airports (pictured):
King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh
In 1981 (1401/02 AH), the late King Khalid opened the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah. This airport, which has special facilities for annually handling hundreds of thousands of pilgrims performing I, has a land area of 105 square kilometers.
King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah
The King Khalid International Airport was opened in 1983 (1403/04 AH). Located 35 kilometers north of Riyadh, with a land area of 225 square kilometers, the King Khalid International Airport is a masterpiece of modern architecture, blending traditional Arab design with the requirements of efficiency, and incorporating into the whole the essential Islamic character of the Kingdom. It is decorated with the works of many Saudi artists. It has four terminals and, from its inauguration, had the capacity to handle 7.5 million passengers a year. By 2000, its capacity had doubled.
King Fahad International Airport in Dhahran
The third international airport, the King Fahd International Airport, is at Dhahran. This airport has an area of 780 square kilometers, making it the largest airport in the Kingdom. There are two parallel runways, each is 4,000 meters long. The airport has the capacity to handle 7 million passengers annually.
Besides serving Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudia these airports also serve a large number of international airlines. From all main airports there is limousine service to the traveler's destination. There is also a regular SAPTCO (Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company) bus service from the airports to various hotels town centre.
Air Transport: Domestic Airports
In addition to the construction of these three international airports, domestic airports are being systematically expanded. There are 22 regional and local airports, linking all parts of the Kingdom.