Daa International Lands Multi-Million Euro Contract in Saudi Arabia

Irish team to manage and operate new T5 passenger terminal at King Khaled International Airport

daa International has won a multi-million euro contract to manage and operate the new Terminal 5 facility at Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh.

daa International was chosen to operate the new 106,500 sq metre terminal, which has a capacity of up to 12 million domestic passengers per year, ahead of five other international airport operators. KKIA, which is located 35 km north of Riyadh, is Saudi Arabia’s main gateway airport, welcoming a record 22.3 million passengers last year.

“daa International is delighted to have won this highly significant contract at King Khaled International Airport and we look forward to providing a fantastic travel experience for passengers,” said daa International Chief Executive Colm Moran.

“This is daa International’s first airport management contract and our intention is to build on this win by adding further significant contracts in the months and years ahead,” Mr Moran added.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) awarded the management contract to daa International following a competitive tender process against that included high profile airport operators from Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We are proud to have been selected ahead of such formidable competition, and we will work closely with GACA to ensure that daa International more than delivers on its commitments to provide a world class product to customers and also to generate significant commercial revenues at Terminal 5,” Mr Moran said.

“This is the first project of its kind for GACA and we are very excited to be working with daa International who submitted a very attractive and competitive bid for managing and operating this brand new terminal at KKIA”, said GACA President Sulaiman Al Hamdan.

The contract, which is for an initial period of five years, comprises all terminal management services within T5. daa International will also be responsible for managing all third party commercial tenants such as airport retail and car parking within the new terminal complex.

daa International will have a team of 15 people in Riyadh, who will comprise the senior management team for T5, and lead a core operations staff of about 90 people. daa International will also manage an additional 250 employees working in facilities management and cleaning, who will be employed by subcontractors to GACA.

daa International, which is a subsidiary of daa, has three main strands of business – operations management, advisory services and training, which is carried out by the Dublin International Aviation Training Academy (DIATA). daa International has previously won a number of strategic advisory and training contracts.

daa International’s proposal for KKIA was centred on the theme of Transforming Together, and was built on the promise of a strong partnership with GACA to bring innovation to the airport, with a focus on customer service and commercial revenues, according to Mr Moran.

“The experience of the wider daa Group in operating profitable airports with no subvention from the State, coupled with the successful commissioning and operation of T2 were both highlighted within our proposal to GACA and we were also able to draw on daa’s proven ability to generate significant revenue from non-aeronautical sources such as retail, food and beverage and car parking,” he added.

Terminal 5, which is the flagship project of a significant investment by KKIA, is due to open later this year. T5 will replace Terminal 3 and will handle domestic flights. Domestic passenger numbers at KKIA grew by 7.4% to 11.7 million last year, and there is strong demand for additional domestic air travel within Saudi Arabia.

Domestic passenger numbers at KKIA are forecast to increase by up to one-third over the next four years. Saudi Arabia’s two existing operators of domestic air services, Saudia and Flynas, both intend to expand their domestic networks, while a third operator Saudi Gulf will enter the market later this year.

Terminal 5 can accommodate 16 narrow-bodied aircraft or up to eight wide-bodied planes and has 60 check-in desks and 20 self-service check-in positions. It will have about 4,500 sq metres of retail and food and beverage outlets and a new car park with spaces for about 3,000 vehicles.

The agreement to operate the new terminal in Riyadh is the second major contract award for daa’s overseas businesses in the Middle East in the past two months. In December, daa International’s sister company ARI was awarded a 10-year retail contract at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal.

ARI, which runs travel retail businesses in 10 countries, will operate the perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and fashion jewellery categories at the new Abu Dhabi terminal from 2017.

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