JEDDAH — King Abdulaziz International Airport received its first regular direct flight from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, carrying 279 passengers on Friday.

The inaugural flight was celebrated in the presence of Turkmen Ambassador Oras Mohammed Charyyev, Advisor to the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation Suleiman Al-Bassam, and CEO of Jeddah Airports Engineer Mazen Johar, alongside leaders from the security and operational sectors at the airport.

Eng. Mazen Johar said the starting of direct flights from Turkmenistan aligns with Jeddah Airports' strategy to expand the number of destinations accessible via King Abdulaziz International Airport. This initiative aims to enhance traveler convenience and contribute to the National Strategy for Aviation Sectors' goals of linking the airport to 150 international destinations and accommodating 114 million passengers by 2030.

Johar emphasized the strategic importance of increasing destinations to boost air traffic revenue, leveraging Saudi Arabia's unique geographical position as a crucial link between the East and the West. He praised the high-quality services the airport offers, meeting international standards and solidifying its status among the top global airports for leisure and transit flights.

The newly established route to Ashgabat, set to run three times a week, aims to strengthen economic ties, increase trade, and ease the journey for passengers, including Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and tourists, fostering a bond of friendship between Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.

In 2023, King Abdulaziz International Airport served over 42.7 million passengers, achieving a 36% increase from 2022's 31.4 million passengers, setting a new record for annual passenger traffic at the airport.

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