Published: 15:38 November 22, 2012
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented the government of Saudi Arabia with a study quantifying the economic benefits of aviation to the Saudi Arabian economy.
The study, commissioned by IATA and completed by Oxford Economics, was presented to Prince Fahad Al Abdullah, President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Arabian Airlines, by Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO, in Saudi Arabia.
“Aviation is a force for good in our world. The industry has turned our planet into a global community by connecting people to businesses, bringing products to markets, facilitating journeys of discovery and uniting families and friends. This has a significant economic impact,” says Tyler.
“Globally, aviation provides employment to some 57 million people and supports $2.2 trillion in business. And in Saudi Arabia, aviation and aviation-enabled tourism support 3.2 per cent of the kingdom’s GDP and 3 per cent of the workforce.”
The study highlights that aviation supports 1.8 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP, equal to SAR 30.2 billion (about $8 billion) annually. It is a quality employer, providing work for some 152,000 people. The productivity of these jobs is 1.8 times higher than the average for Saudi Arabia.
Also, aviation-enabled tourism employs a further 139,000 people and supports some SAR 23.6 billion (about $6.3 billion) of economic activity annually.
During his visit, Tyler also met Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General Eng. Khalid Al Molhem, executives of the airline and government officials. The topics discussed include further liberalisation of airspace and the development of Saudi Arabian Airlines and aviation in the kingdom. IATA also concluded agreements to accredit the airlines’ training centres as authorised centres of the IATA Training and Development Institute.
Tyler noted the intent of Saudi Arabia to enable an e-customs platform and hoped this could eventually facilitate full implementation of e-freight. “Aviation is critical to the Saudi economy. Its 27 airports handle over 54 million passengers annually, and the numbers are growing at double-digit pace.
“It is essential that the government continues with policies to support the efficient development of connectivity.”