King Abdulaziz International Airport

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King Abdulaziz International Airport

مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي

Mataar Al-Malik Abdulaziz Al-Duwaly
King Abdulaziz International Airport.jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorGeneral Authority of Civil Aviation
ServesJeddah and Mecca (Makkah), Saudi Arabia
LocationAl Madinah Al Munawwarah Road
Hub for
Elevation AMSL15 m / 48 ft
Coordinates21°40′46″N 039°09′24″E / 21.67944°N 39.15667°E / 21.67944; 39.15667Coordinates: 21°40′46″N 039°09′24″E / 21.67944°N 39.15667°E / 21.67944; 39.15667
JED is located in Saudi Arabia
Location of airport in Saudi Arabia
JED is located in Asia
JED (Asia)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
16L/34R 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
16C/34C 4,000 13,123 Concrete
16R/34L 3,800 12,467 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Traffic movement340,333[1]
Economic impact (2012)$11.5 billion[2]
Social impact (2012)126.7 thousand[2]

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) (Arabic: مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي‎) (IATA: JED, ICAO: OEJN) is an international airport located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The airport is the third largest and the busiest airport of Saudi Arabia, serving around 17.8 million passengers in 2010.[3] Named after the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Al Saud and inaugurated in 1981, it serves most international travel and is the largest hub for Saudi Arabia's flag carrier Saudia. The airport provides facilities required for the service of pilgrims and those who visit the country to perform Umrah. It has four operational passenger terminals: the North Terminal, the South Terminal, the Hajj Terminal, and the new Terminal 1. The Hajj Terminal was specially built for Muslim pilgrims going to Mecca annually on the Hajj.


The airport occupies an area of 105 square kilometres (41 square miles).[4] Beside the airport proper, this includes a royal terminal, facilities of King Abdullah Air Base for the Royal Saudi Air Force, and housing for airport staff. Construction work on KAIA airport began in 1974, and was finalized in 1980. Finally, on 31 May 1981, the airport opened for service after being officially inaugurated in April 1981.[4]

New Terminal 1[edit]

In 2019, the new Terminal 1 at King Abdulaziz International Airport had a soft opening with a number of domestic flights transferred to operate from it. With an floor area of 810,000 square metres (8,700,000 sq ft), the new terminal is considered one of the largest airport terminal buildings of its kind in the world.[5] Visitors and passengers will enjoy a number of facilities including new lounges, an 18,000 square metres (190,000 sq ft) central garden area and a transport center that links between the building and the car park and train station.[6] Moreover, the terminal will have a huge aquarium with 10 metres (33 ft) in diameter and 14 metres (46 ft) in height as well as a capacity of million litres of water.[6] Furthermore, a mosque with a capacity of 3,732 worshippers has been established in the airport.[6] In August 2019, the airport started moving a number of international flights operated by Saudia to the new terminal,[7] and on the 18th of November, Etihad has become the first non-Saudi airline to move to the new facility.[8]


٘North Terminal

Hajj Terminal[edit]

Because of Jeddah's proximity to the city of Mecca, the airport has a dedicated Hajj Terminal, built to handle pilgrims taking part in the rituals associated with the annual Hajj. It can accommodate 80,000 travelers at the same time.

Designed by the Bangladeshi-American engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), it is known for its tent-like roof structure, engineered by Horst Berger while part of Geiger Berger Associates.[9] Ten modules, each consisting of twenty-one "tents" of white colored Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric suspended from pylons, are grouped together into two blocks of five modules and separated by a landscaped mall between the blocks. Only customs, baggage handling and similar facilities are located in an air-conditioned building. The vast majority of the complex, called "Terminal Support Area", is a flexible, open area, conceived to function like a village, complete with souk (market) and mosque. Not enclosed by walls, this area is sheltered from the intense sun while allowing for natural ventilation; because of this, some consider it to be a green, environmentally-friendly building.[10]

The Hajj Terminal received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983. According to the jury, "the brilliant and imaginative design of the roofing system met the awesome challenge of covering this vast space with incomparable elegance and beauty."[11]

Other terminals[edit]

South Terminal
North Terminal interior
Hajj Terminal

Jeddah-KAIA airport serves as a major hub for Saudia who originally had the exclusive use of the South Terminal. In 2007, however, the privately owned Saudi carriers Flynas and Sama Airlines were also given permission to use it. Due to the closure of Sama Airlines, the terminal was only used by Saudia and Flynas. The terminal is now also used by Flyadeal, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, and Korean Air. The North Terminal at Jeddah airport is used by all other foreign airlines. The South terminal, however, is reported as closed, with all flights having moved to the new Terminal 1.[12]

Expansion project[edit]

The new King Abdulaziz International Airport three-stage development started in 2006, and is currently scheduled for an official opening in mid 2019.[13] However, as of 2018 local flights have been landing at the airport.[14] The project is designed to increase the airport's yearly capacity from 13 million to 80 million passengers.[citation needed]

The expansion includes a brand-new passenger terminal building, a 136-meter tall air traffic control (ATC) tower (the largest in the world), airfield hard-standing and paved areas, lighting, fuel network systems, electronic passenger guidance system and a new storm water drainage network. There will also be a newly constructed support services building and upgrades to the existing runway and airfield systems. The three stages, according to GACA—the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia, will be marked by staged capacity increase to 30 million, 60 million and 80 million passengers per year.

The new airport will be accessed by the Haramain high-speed rail project network. Prince Majed Street will connect to the Al-Laith Highway, forming a fast north–south transit route.

Other facilities[edit]

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has the GACA Hangar (Building 364) at the airport.[15]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Aegean Airlines Athens[16]
Afriqiyah Airways Misrata,[17] Tripoli–Mitiga
Seasonal: Bayda, Benghazi
Air Algérie Algiers
Air Arabia Alexandria, Assiut,[18] Luxor,[19] Sharjah, Sharm El Sheikh,[20] Sohag
AirAsia X Seasonal: Kuala Lumpur–International
Airblue Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar
Air Cairo Alexandria, Assiut, Cairo, Sohag
Air China Hajj: Ürümqi
Air India Delhi, Hyderabad, Kozhikode,[21] Mumbai
Hajj: Aurangabad
AnadoluJet Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen[22]
Ariana Afghan Airlines Kabul, Kandahar (both suspended)[23]
Azman Air Kano
Alitalia Bologna
Azerbaijan Airlines Seasonal charter: Baku[24]
Badr Airlines Khartoum, Port Sudan
Batik Air Makassar, Medan[25]
Seasonal: Surakarta/Solo
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Chittagong, Dhaka
Hajj: Sylhet
British Airways London
Citilink Seasonal: Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta,[26] Medan, Palembang,[26] Semarang, Surabaya, Surakarta/Solo[27]
Daallo Airlines Hargeisa, Mogadishu
EgyptAir Alexandria, Cairo
Seasonal: Sharm El Sheikh[28]
Emirates Dubai–International
Eritrean Airlines Asmara
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Hajj: Al Ain[29]
Flyadeal Abha,[30] Dammam,[31] Gassim,[31] Riyadh, Tabuk[32]
FlyBosnia Seasonal: Sarajevo[33]
flydubai Dubai–International
FlyEgypt Alexandria, Assiut, Sohag[34]
Flynas Abu Dhabi, Adana, Algiers, Amman–Queen Alia, Baghdad, Bangalore,[35] Beirut, Dammam, Dubai–International, Erbil,[36] Hatay, Hofuf,[37] Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Jizan, Kano, Khartoum, Kuwait, Medina, Riyadh, Sarajevo, Sharjah, Sharm El Sheikh, Tabuk, Yanbu[38]
Seasonal: Baku,[39] Batumi,[39] Kozhikode,[40] Salzburg,[41] Tbilisi, Vienna[41]
Charter: Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Makassar, Medan, Surabaya
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta
Seasonal: Balikpapan, Banda Aceh, Makassar, Medan, Padang, Surabaya, Surakarta/Solo
Hajj: Banjarmasin, Palembang
Gulf Air Bahrain
IndiGo Bangalore,[42] Delhi, Kozhikode,[43] Mumbai
Iran Air Hajj: Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Bushehr, Goragan, Isfahan, Medina, Rasht, Shiraz, Urmia, Zahedan
Iraqi Airways Charter: Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah[44]
Jazeera Airways Kuwait Hajj: Leeds/Bradford, Manchester
Jubba Airways Dubai–International, Galkayo
Kabo Air Hajj: Abuja, Kano
Kam Air Kabul,[45] Kandahar (both suspended)
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Libyan Airlines Seasonal: Benghazi, Tripoli–Mitiga
Libyan Wings Charter: Tripoli
Lion Air Seasonal: Balikpapan,[46] Banda Aceh,[46] Makassar, Padang, Palembang,[47] Pekanbaru,[48] Surabaya, Surakarta/Solo
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Hajj: Alor Setar, Johor Bahru,[49] Kuala Terengganu, Penang
Max Air Hajj: Kano
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Nesma Airlines Ha'il[50]
Nile Air Alexandria, Assiut,[51] Cairo, Luxor,[51] Sohag[51]
Nordwind Airlines Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Oman Air Muscat, Salalah
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan
Pegasus Airlines Seasonal: Trabzon[52]
Qatar Airways Doha[53]
Qeshm Airlines Hajj: Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Hajj: Rabat, Tangier
Royal Brunei Airlines Seasonal: Bandar Seri Begawan
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia
SalamAir Muscat,[54] Salalah
Saudia Abha, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Al Baha, Alexandria, Algiers, Al Jawf, Al Ula, Al Wajh, Amman–Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Ankara,[55] Arar, Athens,[56] Baghdad,[57] Bahrain, Bangalore, Beirut, Bisha, Cairo, Casablanca, Chennai, Colombo–Bandaranaike, Dammam, Dawadmi, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha,[58] Dubai–International, Erbil,[59] Frankfurt, Gassim, Geneva, Guangzhou, Gurayat, Ha'il, Hofuf, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Jizan, Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo, Kano, Karachi, Khartoum, Kochi, Kozhikode,[60][61] Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuwait, Lahore, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Lucknow, Madrid, Malè, Manchester, Manila, Mauritius, Medina, Milan–Malpensa, Multan,[62] Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Najran, New York–JFK, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Port Sudan,[63] Qaisumah, Rafha, Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino, Sharm El Sheikh, Sharurah, Singapore, Tabuk, Ta'if, Tunis, Turaif, Vienna, Wadi al-Dawasir, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Adana, Agadir, Ahmedabad, Ahwaz, Annaba, Batam, Constantine, Fes, Ghardaïa, Izmir, Kolkata, Makassar, Málaga,[64] Marrakech, Mashhad, Medan, Oran, Rabat, Surabaya, Tabriz, Tangier
SaudiGulf Airlines Baghdad,[65] Dammam,[66] Erbil[65]
SCAT Airlines Almaty[67]
Scoot Singapore
SpiceJet Ahmedabad,[68] Delhi, Hyderabad, Kozhikode, Mumbai
Hajj: Srinagar[69]
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike
Sudan Airways Khartoum
Syrian Air Hajj: Damascus
Tarco Airlines Khartoum
Tunisair Tunis
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Hajj: Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Isparta, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya, Samsun, Sivas, Trabzon, Van
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat[70]
Utair Aviation Hajj: Magas, Kazan
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent[71]
Yemenia Aden


Air France Cargo Dammam, Hong Kong, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
DHL Aviation Bahrain
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa[72]
Fly pro Cargo Colombo
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah
Qatar Cargo Doha
Saudia Cargo Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dammam, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Khartoum, Kozhikode, Maastricht/Aachen, Lagos, Lucknow, Milan–Malpensa, Mumbai, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, New York–JFK,[73] N'Djamena, Riyadh, Shanghai–Pudong, Sharjah

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 11 July 1991, Nigeria Airways Flight 2120, a Douglas DC-8-61, suffered cabin pressure problems followed by a fire due to a failed landing gear. The pilots tried to return to the airport but failed to reach it and the plane crashed, killing all 247 passengers and 14 crew.[74]
  • On 1 March 2004, PIA Flight 2002, an Airbus A300B4-200, burst two tires whilst taking off. Fragments of the tire were ingested by the engines, causing the engines to catch fire and takeoff was aborted. Substantial damage to the engine and the left wing caused the aircraft to be written off. All 261 passengers and 12 crew survived.[75]
  • On 21 May 2018, an Onur Air-leased Airbus A330-200 (reg TC-OCH), operating as flight 3818 from Medina to Dhaka, was diverted to Jeddah after suffering a malfunction with the nose landing gear. It was forced to make a landing with no nose gear, and the remaining landing gear did not collapse. No injuries were reported.[76]

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

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External links[edit]

Media related to King Abdulaziz International Airport at Wikimedia Commons