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Muslim from a pilgrimage group (Malaysia) at Jeddah International Airport or King Abdulaziz International Airport from Shutterstock.com

Changi subsidiary awarded contract to operate new King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah

General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has earlier announced on Sunday (30 April) that it awarded Changi Airports International (CAI)-led consortium a contract to operate the new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for up to 20 years.

However, the kingdom's aviation authority only said that the selection was made after a thorough evaluation of bids and did not provide any further details.

Malaysia Airports Holdings and France's Aeroports de Paris Management were among other bidders.

CAI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Changi Airport Group, which is responsible for the operation and management of Singapore Changi Airport, the most awarded airport in the world.

Mr Lim Liang Song, CEO of CAI, said, "We would like to thank the GACA Board of Directors for their confidence and trust in CAI. This is a testament to the strong partnership we have with GACA, from when we first started managing Dammam airport eight years ago." We look forward to developing KAIA into a world-class hub, to serve the residents and visitors of Jeddah and Saudi Arabia.”

"We look forward to developing KAIA into a world-class hub, to serve the residents and visitors of Jeddah and Saudi Arabia," he added.

KAIA is the main airport in Jeddah and the busiest in Saudi Arabia. The city is a main commercial centre for Saudi Arabia and the main gateway to Mecca.

Saudi's Minister of Transport Suleiman Al-Hamdan stated that the work on the expanded airport is 88 percent complete and is set to be operational by mid-2018.