RIYADH — The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that the total compensation paid by national aviation companies to passengers during the years 2021 and 2022 amounted to SR58 million.

This is in accordance with what was stipulated in the executive regulations to protect the rights of customers. The authority explained that major cases of compensation included delay, damage, or loss of baggage; flight cancellation and flight delays.

The GACA emphasized its keenness to guarantee the rights of affected travelers as a result of air carriers not adhering to what was agreed upon with passengers in accordance with the air carrier contract.

The authority stated that this measure comes as an affirmation from the part of GACA to air carriers, their representatives and agents of the need to ensure the implementation of the articles of new regulations, and to confirm their full commitment to their regulatory and supervisory role in the aviation sector. This is also aims to serve the public interest through the impartial implementation of the regulations in order to achieve passenger satisfaction and improve the travel experience in the Kingdom.

Eng. Abdulaziz Aldahmash, vice president of GACA for quality and traveler experience, emphasized that the authority is committed to facilitating the procedures for submitting complaints, ensuring transparency, and resolving complaints in accordance with the approved regulations and procedures. “The GACA is committed to spreading awareness about travelers’ rights, providing easy channels to communicate with the authority, and facilitating the procedures for obtaining compensation stipulated in the regulations for the protection of travelers’ rights,” he said.

It is noteworthy that the GACA announced last month the adoption of a new executive regulation to protect the rights of passengers, replacing the existing one, which will come into force on Nov. 20, 2023. The regulation included 30 articles that guarantee the passenger’s right to receive proper care, support and compensation, amounting up to 150- 200 percent of the ticket value.

The new regulation guarantees passengers, upon loss of luggage, a financial compensation equivalent to SR6568. In the event of damage, defect or delay of baggage, the passenger is entitled to get a financial compensation not exceeding SR6568.

The regulation also guaranteed compensation to travelers in the event of adding a stopover point that was not announced when confirming the reservation of ticket. The regulation clarified the obligations of both the passengers and the air carrier.

The regulations also deal with the rights of passengers with disabilities and special requirements. The regulations guaranteed the rights of customers, who are traveling on board chartered flights, especially the seasonal Hajj and Umrah trips.

The new passenger rights protection regulation is one of the most comprehensive passenger protection regulations, as it is distinguished by the fact that it emanates from the National Aviation Strategy aimed at realizing the goal of Vision 2030, which aims to enable the Saudi aviation sector to become the topper in the Middle East, reaching a target of 330 million passengers by 2030

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