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RIYAD: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) signed an agreement with the Saudi General Civil Aviation Authority (GACA) to establish an office in Riyadh.

The trade association told Arab News: “IATA is strengthening its presence in Saudi Arabia by establishing a new office in the Kingdom. The IATA regional office (regional headquarters) remains in Jordan, in Amman.

“IATA is committed to supporting the development of aviation in Saudi Arabia and contributing to the realization of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision of making the Kingdom a global aviation hub in the coming years. years. “

The agreement was signed by GACA President Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej and IATA Vice President for Africa and Middle East region Kamel Hassan Al-Awadi.

Al-Duailej stressed the importance of strengthening effective joint cooperation between international and regional organizations in the civil aviation industry, the Saudi News Agency reported on Tuesday.

IATA members are made up of approximately 290 global airlines, accounting for 82% of global air traffic.

According to the latest industry figures released by the association in June, total global demand for air travel in April was down 65.4% year-on-year. In the Middle East, which relies heavily on international traffic, airlines reported that demand was still down 82.9% in April compared to the same month in 2019.

Willie Walsh, Managing Director of IATA, said: “The continued strong recovery in domestic markets shows us that when people have the freedom to fly, they benefit.

“Unfortunately, this freedom still does not exist in most international markets. When it does, I’m confident we’ll see a similar resurgence in demand. “

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