Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SACC) has inked a $133.3m (SAR500m) contract with Saudi Arabia Airlines (Saudia) to design, build, and operate (DBO) a new lounge at the new and expanded King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED).
According to a statement on Saudi bourse Tadawul, 10-year contract will be effective upon the launch of the Al Fursan International lounge within JED, one of the kingdom's busiest aviation hubs.
SACC said it expects the contract's positive impact to reflect in its Q4 2019 results, adding that the deal would “boost business sustainability by increasing the cash flow and enhancing the relationship with Saudia”.
Saudia welcomed the first passengers to the new airport in June 2018, not long after the airline opened the new Al Fursan Domestic lounge for its loyalty members and premium guests.
JED serves numerous passengers travelling for the Hajj and Umrah Islamic pilgrimages. Its expansion involves increasing its capacity to accommodate 30 million passengers a year with a 67 passenger terminal complex, in addition to 46 contact gates, 94 boarding bridges, lounges, retail facilities, and an airside hotel.
The news comes amid efforts by the kingdom to expand and upgrade its air travel capacity. Last week, Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) announced the launch of an eight-pronged plan to transform the kingdom into a regional hub for air travel and logistics, as part of the $450bn (SAR1.7tn) National Industrial and Logistics Development Program that was unveiled in January.
A review of cargo services, aviation safety, domestic air ticket rates, and flight scheduling will be carried out among the eight initiatives planned by Gaca.
Under the plan, which includes improving the overall customer experience at airports, developing navigation systems, and adopting relevant technology and innovation, more support will also be provided to Saudia.