Saudi to levy new airport tax from 2020 – reports

The new charge will be imposed on passengers travelling on domestic routes



A new airport tax is set to be levied on passengers travelling on domestic routes in Saudi Arabia to improve airport facilities, local media reported.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) will impose the ‘airport building charge’ starting from January 1, 2020, local daily Arab News reported, citing a circular issued by the authority.

The fee will be SAR21 for a one-way trip which includes SAR10 each for the departure and arrival airports as well as SAR1 for value-added tax.

Passengers will be charged SAR42 for a round trip, with the fee increasing to SAR87 when a passenger books a domestic flight at a local international departure terminal, the report stated.

Infants, passengers staying on-board connecting flights (who will not use airport facilities), cabin crew members on duty, and members of aircraft registered on the list of airline pilots will be exempt.

Airlines will collect the tax from passengers by adding it to the ticket price, and will pass it on to the airport administration and finance departments.

The fee will be subject to changes once every three years, the report said.

The charge is aimed at raising funding for airport infrastructure development projects and to enhance airport services, it added.

Currently, the kingdom has 28 airports, including 15 that can receive international flights.

Overall passenger numbers across the country rose 8 per cent year-on-year in 2018 to reach 99.86 million, according to figures from GACA.