The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has presented the government of Saudi Arabia with a study quantifying the economic benefits of aviation to the local economy.
The study was commissioned by IATA and completed by Oxford Economics.
It was presented to His Highness Prince Fahad Alabdullah, who is president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) and chairman of the Board of Saudi Arabian Airlines, by Tony Tyler, IATA director general.
Visiting Saudi Arabia, Tyler said: “Aviation is a force for good in our world.
“The industry has turned our planet into a global community by connecting people to business, bringing products to markets, facilitating journeys of discovery and uniting families and friends.
“This has a significant economic impact.
“Globally, aviation provides employment to some 57 million people and supports $2.2 trillion in business.
“And in Saudi Arabia, aviation and aviation-enabled tourism supports 3.2 per cent of the Kingdom’s GDP and three per cent of the workforce,” added Tyler.
The report confirmed aviation is a quality employer, providing work for some 152,000 people in Saudi Arabia, while the productivity of these jobs is 1.8 times higher than the average for Saudi Arabia.
Aviation-enabled tourism in Saudi Arabia employs a further 139,000 people and supports some SAR23.6 billion of economic activity annually.
During his visit, Tyler also met with Saudi Arabian Airlines director general, Khalid Almolhem, executives of Saudi Arabian Airlines, and government officials.
Topics of discussion included further liberalisation of airspace and the development of Saudi Arabian Airlines and aviation in the Kingdom.
IATA also concluded agreements to accredit Saudi Arabian Airlines’ training centers as authorized training centers of the IATA Training and Development Institute.
This is a significant step for the development of aviation’s human capital in the region.