Red Sea Development & Airport
The Red Sea re-development is rated as one of the most ambitious 'regenerative tourism' projects ever taken up. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Ireland's daa International has been picked to manage one of Saudi Arabia's most prestigious airport projects - Red Sea International Airport, which will begin operations by end 2022.

daa will provide airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services. The confirmation was made by Red Sea Development Company, the master-developer behind "regenerative tourism" project.

The Red Sea International Airport is to serve one million passengers annually by the project’s completion in 2030, with a peak capacity of 900 passengers per hour.

“Our state-of-the-art airport will provide a unique gateway for guests arriving at our destination, and this announcement is an important step in bringing the experience to life ahead of welcoming visitors by the end of 2022,” said John Pagano, CEO at the developer. “daa International was selected because we are confident that they can deliver not only an airport experience worthy of our luxury destination, but for their commitment to ensuring our sustainability goals are met.”

Local knowledge
daa International has been operating Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh since it opened in 2016. It owns and operates Dublin and Cork airports in Ireland, holds 20 per cent in Düsseldorf Airport and an 11 per cent stake in Hermes Airports, which operates Larnaca and Paphos in Cyprus.

Three stages

The Irish company will manage operations in three separate stages:

* Stage one will involve ensuring that all airport designs benefit the customer.

* Stage two covers planning a full and seamless operational model for the airport when it opens to the public.

* Stage three will be to manage and operate this plan, and prioritizing safety and security.

“The Red Sea International Airport will become a fundamental part of each visitor’s journey to this unique destination, and we believe their holiday experience should start from the moment they land,” said daa International's Chief Executive Nick Cole.