JEDDAH - Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), yesterday emphasized the need to operate more flights to Saudi resorts to promote domestic tourism and boost the country’s economy. He made this comment during a meeting with aviation and airline officials, including Abdullah Ruhaimy, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and Khaled Al-Mulhim, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Press Agency said.
“Domestic air transport should cope with the national plan aimed at increasing travel of Saudi tourists,” Prince Sultan told the meeting. “This will have its positive impact on the economies of the Kingdom’s various regions and create more job opportunities for Saudis,” he explained.
Prince Sultan said the SCTA was working to achieve integration of all sectors related to tourism, most importantly the air transport sector, which he said is a major driving force behind domestic tourism.
Prince Sultan said his organization has urged national airline companies to solve the problem of shortage in flights to Saudi cities, especially during holidays.
He pointed out that as a result of a shortage, many Saudis are unable to spend their vacation in Saudi resorts. This will have a negative impact on the economies of those regions.
Ruhaimy said his organization was working with the SCTA to remove obstacles facing domestic tourism and improve air transport services in the Kingdom. He said GACA was working to increase the number of airports in the country and meet the shortage in flights.
The meeting, which was also attended by top officials of private carriers Nas and Sama, emphasized the need for competition among airlines operating in the Kingdom. The airline officials said early bookings and the selection of suitable times would reduce the cost of travel.The meeting also discussed measures to improve services to passengers.