GACA: Airfares for international flights rise in summer, gradual drop in fares expected

June 08, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The aviation sector was greatly impacted by the pandemic, and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has followed a free market policy that calls for and encourages competitiveness, GACA spokesman Ibrahim Al-Ru’asaa admitted to Okaz newspaper recently.

Al-Ru’asaa also attributed the rise in airfares for international flights to their coinciding with the summer season. The airfares are expected to decrease gradually after the flights become regular and increase in number.

He confirmed that GACA was closely monitoring this matter and it has indices and classifications, which it issues periodically, on carriers and airports, including air-ticket prices.

He praised the response of passengers, employees and workers to the directives issued on the precautionary measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. This has contributed to making the airports a safe environment.

He stressed that implementing the measures recommended by the concerned authorities contributes to achieving better health quality and does not impede it.

The airports are a service utility like any other utility, where the precautionary measures were not the reason for the drop in number of clients, but their growth will increase in direct proportion to the conditions for departure of Saudis and the arrival of non-Saudis.

Al-Ru’asaa added that passengers were fully cooperative and complied totally with the directives.

The GACA spokesman said that the cost of air tickets is not a basic motivator for travel. Actually, the conditions set by countries to receive passengers are a greater motivator than other factors.

This is an important matter for travelers. He stressed the necessity for passengers to be fully aware of all the measures and procedures required by the destination country so as to avoid facing challenges or difficulties.

Asked about the difference between travel before and after the coronavirus pandemic, he said that difference is visible in the method of receiving and bidding farewell, as the social customs have changed after the pandemic.

There is nobody to receive or bid farewell to the passenger, because that will cause crowding at airport gates and in terminals, which will be an environment conducive to transmission of infection.

“We hope the passengers and their family members and relatives will understand the matter, as the airport has specified that the persons present should be the passengers only, except for people accompanying passengers with disabilities,” Al-Ru’asaa stressed.

The GACA spokesman added that the long period of cessation of activities was an opportunity to introduce more improvements and development, and add new technologies and services, aimed at creating a healthy environment in the aircraft cabin.

GACA has provided many services related to permits and extending them, aviation licenses, and taking into consideration the circumstances the carriers go through.

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