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daa International Wins Contract to Manage New Red Sea Airport

daa International Wins Contract to Manage New Red Sea Airport

Global airports and travel retail group daa International has signed a contract to operate the new airport at The Red Sea Development Project in Saudi Arabia.

The Red Sea Project is a major development being built over 28,000 square kilometres on Saudi Arabia’s west coast to create a new luxury tourism destination. The first phase of the project, including the new international airport, is due to be completed by the end of next year.

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), which is the developer behind the new tourism destination, has named daa International as the operator of the new airport, which will be the main gateway for the development. The Red Sea International Airport is set to serve one million passengers annually by the project’s completion in 2030, with a peak capacity of 900 passengers per hour. Visitor numbers will be limited to one million, based on the environmental carrying capacity of the new Red Sea development. The airport will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

daa International, which is a subsidiary of Dublin and Cork airports operator daa, has a successful track record in Saudi Arabia, having operated Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh since it opened in 2016.

daa International will provide airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and will oversee commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services.

“Our state-of-the-art airport will provide a unique gateway for guests arriving at our destination, and this announcement is an important step in bringing the experience to life, ahead of welcoming visitors by the end of 2022,” said John Pagano, Chief Executive of TRSDC. “daa International was selected because we are confident that they can deliver not only an airport experience worthy of our luxury destination, but for their commitment to ensuring our sustainability goals are met,” Mr Pagano added.

daa International Chief Executive Nick Cole said the company was delighted to have been awarded the contract to operate the new airport. “The Red Sea Project is an amazing development and we are thrilled to be playing a major part in it by becoming the operator of the new airport,” he added.

On completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 hotels, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include a luxury marina, entertainment and leisure facilities. The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion in 2022, will include the new airport, up to 3,000 hotel rooms, recreational facilities and residential properties.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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