saudi jeddah airport
The automated people mover service at the KAI in Jeddah. Image Credit: Twitter

Cairo: The King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAI), one of Saudi Arabia's major air traffic facilities, has paid farewell to its Southern Terminal after 40 years of operation, moving its flights to Terminal I at the new airport.

The Southern Terminal used to handle domestic and international flights of the national carrier Saudia.

In March, Saudi Arabia suspended international flights as part of its measures to fight the new coronavirus. Earlier this month, domestic air travel restarted as the kingdom eased restrictions against the virus. No specific date has been set for resuming international flights in Saudi Arabia.

The KAI airport authorities said that flights evacuating Saudi citizens stranded abroad and those repatriating foreigners in the kingdom have moved to Terminal 1.

"Dear passengers, please note that the Southern Terminal was closed and all operations have been moved to Terminal I," the KAI airport added on its Twitter account.

Last week, the airport inaugurated the automated people mover (APM) service for transporting arriving and departing passengers at Terminal I.

The APM service, the first of its kind at Saudi airports, can transport up to 4,000 passengers per hour.

The 810,000-square metre Terminal 1 is equipped with 220 counters to serve passengers and 80 self- service counters with a total of 46 gates.

The new KAI airport initially has an annual capacityof accommodating 30 million passengers, envisaged to reach 80 million later.