Fri, 20 May 2022

© Provided by Xinhua

RIYADH, May 9 (Xinhua) -- China is one of the main target markets of Saudi Arabia to achieve its aviation goal set out in the kingdom's economic vision 2030, said a Saudi aviation official on Monday.

Mohammed Alkhuraisi, vice president of Strategy Business Intelligence of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), made the remarks on the sidelines of the opening of the Future Aviation Forum, which is organized by the GACA.

"To achieve these targets, we need to partner with the global aviation sector and exchange expertise by enhancing collaboration in training, exchange of programs and investment opportunities ... and China is one of the main target markets," he noted.

© Provided by Xinhua

Alkhuraisi said the Saudi Aviation Strategy aims to "make the sector the number one in the Middle East."

"To achieve the goal, we have to triple the number of passengers of 2019 to over 300 million passengers by 2030, and increase international connectivity from 99 destinations in 2019 to 250 destinations which are directly connected to the kingdom by 2030," he added.

In terms of visitors, Saudi Arabia aims to welcome 100 million visitors by 2030, especially those from Asian countries, said the official, stressing that China is one of the main Asian markets for the kingdom.

"The Asian market is on top of our priorities, especially China. We would like to work more with China and welcome more Chinese to the kingdom," he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the aviation sector like never before and showed us clearly the importance of air connectivity and the challenges, he stressed.

Alkhurais considered the GACA forum a great opportunity to address the main global challenges by focusing on sustainability, post-COVID recovery and the improvement of passengers' experience.

It also focused on a policy about easing travel restrictions to ensure easier and more enjoyable international travel, he said.

Alkhurais noted that the Saudi Aviation Strategy and the National Tourism Strategy are interconnected.

A total of 60 countries with over 2,000 participants are participating in the forum.

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