Rundown, crowded & chaotic South Terminal in Jeddah was one of those terminals stuck in the past while the Aviation industry in Saudi Arabia has grown leaps and bounds since it was first opened in 1981.
The King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAI) has closed the iconic South Terminal and moved all operations to the new state of the art Terminal 1, currently able to handle 30 million passengers annually with the ability to grow it further to handle 80 million passengers annually by 2035.
Gone are the days of waiting in an overcrowded waiting area, a limited selection of retail outlets, and more specifically bussing it to the terminal every time as the new terminal offers 46 contact gates, 220 counters and 80 self-service counters.
Source: Sam Chui
Passengers travelling through the new terminal can enjoy the comfort of a 5-star hotel, shop at 120 outlets and witness one of the largest aquariums in an airport. With many pilgrims using Jeddah as their port of entry into the kingdom, the new terminal will provide a convenient direct high-speed rail network linking the airport to Madinah, Makkah and King Abdullah Economic City.
KAI is home to national flag carrier SAUDIA, this new terminal would help the carrier in attracting transit passengers, especially win back passengers they lost to rival airlines in the Middle East and help the carrier in expanding their network with the increase in capacity at KAI.
Market Share Of Capacity at KAI
Source: Blue Swan
The airport will also aid in achieving the strategic targets for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
However, it may take time if you live abroad to experience the new terminal as the kingdom has suspended International flights for the foreseeable future untill the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.
Source: Arab News