Friday, June 24, 2022

Saudi Arabia: Jeddah airport CEO relieved from duty after overcrowding crisis

Cairo: According to a local hospital, the chief executive officer of a prominent Saudi airport has been sacked due to overcrowding at the facility where travellers, mostly umrah pilgrims, were left during last week’s Muslim Eid Al Fitr Holiday.

Saudi media showed images and footage which clearly depict hundreds of thousands of departing pilgrims from different countries left at the International King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah and were struggling to get access to their flights. 

As a result, the board of directors of the Jeddah Airports Company had an emergency meeting on Saturday and resolved to relieve Ryyan Tarabzoni of his position as CEO and replace him with Ayman Abo Abah, according to Okaz.

The new CEO has a vast experience of more than 28 years, during which he held numerous leadership positions, the latest being deputy CEO for operation at the Riyadh Airports Company, the paper added. 

This replacement comes days after Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Service Saleh bin Nasser ordered the formation of an urgent committee in order to examine flight delays at the airport. 

Authorities opened the Pilgrims City at the airport to house the passengers in the run-up to their flights and protected them from the hot weather.

Airport officials accused the congestion on umrah companies, whom they accused of bringing the pilgrims to the site long before their planned flights.

The situation has ended, and the airport has returned to smooth normalcy after efforts from various institutions, as per reports showing footage of passenger traffic inside the facility.

The company organised a meeting on Saturday, in which they talked about the challenges faced by King Abdulaziz International Airport during the past few days and the required solutions. 

After the meeting, the decision from Jeddah Airports Co. came after the Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics, Saleh Al-Jasser, led the formation of an urgent investigation committee in order to examine the reasons for delays and irregular flights at Jeddah Airport and to raise its results and their recommendations “within one week from its actual date.”

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