Saudi Arabia is set to cut airport charges by about 35%, effective later this year, in an effort to increase airline traffic, reported Bloomberg.

This reduction will be applied to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam airports.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of Saudi Arabia announced the latest move as the next step in an ongoing plan to privatise all airports in the country.

It also noted that the airports would have the flexibility to reduce the flight charges below the announced caps to compete effectively with other major passenger hubs in neighbouring countries like the UAE and Qatar.

This marks the latest step in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s strategy to lower dependency on crude oil exports and convert Riyadh into a global business centre.

The Kingdom also announced plans to launch a new national airline very soon as part of its efforts to establish a key pillar of its ‘Vision 2030’ economic diversification goal.

To be based at King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Riyadh, the carrier is expected to play a central role in the country’s plan to transform into one of the leading aviation hubs in the Middle East.

The aviation strategy aims to increase the number of direct destinations served from the country to 250, which will triple the airline traffic by the end of the decade.

Recently, Riyadh Airports Company inaugurated an advanced airport operations control centre at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.