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Saudi’s Jeddah airport wants 1,500 foreign workers replaced

Saudi’s Jeddah airport wants 1,500 foreign workers replaced

Authorities want foreign airlines and ground service firms to replace staff with Saudis

Authorities at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport want airlines and ground service firms operating there to replace 1,500 foreign staff with Saudis, according to reports.

Arabic newspaper Makkah said that the director general of the airport, Abdullah Al-Raimi, has called on companies to quickly replace staff with citizens.

A memo has been circulated to the affected companies and operators and the airport authority plans to carry out inspection tours with the help of government agencies to ensure compliance.

Airlines, agents and ground service operators that fail to replace their foreign staff face fines, according to the publication.

The plans come as the airport prepares for the soft opening of its new passenger terminal in May. This will begin with the operation of six gates for domestic flights and gradually expand to full operations by year-end.

Read: Jeddah’s new airport to have trial opening in May

Last month the kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced the cancellation of a 20-year concession awarded to Singapore’s Changi Airports International and the Saudi Naval Support Company to manage the new facility.

The reason for the cancellation was not entirely clear.

It is under stood the GACA plans to award a new concession to local and international companies soon.

The kingdom has forced companies in other industries to replace their foreign staff with Saudis as part of a drive to reduce unemployment.

The most recent foreign worker ban came into effect on Sunday, March 18, and applies to most staff at car rental offices

Read: Saudi says foreign worker ban won’t apply to all car rental jobs

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