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New Passenger Rights Protection Regulations

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Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation Announces New Passenger Rights Protection Regulations to take effect from 20 November 2023

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, 23 August 2023

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced new passenger rights protection regulations, strengthening protections for passengers affected by airline or airport disruptions. The new regulations are designed to create a better passenger experience, supporting the Kingdom’s broader aviation sector growth objectives.

The new regulations will come into effect from 20 November 2023, and encompass every stage of the air travel journey, covering ticketing, boarding, in-flight services, baggage handling, and catering to passengers with special needs, including those with reduced mobility.

Compensation provisions have been strengthened and extended through the regulations, addressing situations like flight delays, cancellations, overbooking, and unexpected stopovers. Compensation in some cases will rise to 150-200% of the original ticket value, whilst lost or damaged baggage could lead to compensation of approximately 6,568 Saudi Riyals. The regulations also cater to unique travel circumstances, like the Hajj and Umrah charter flights. The regulation allows passengers to request the termination of the contract with the air carrier in case the flight is delayed for a period exceeding 2 hours.

Eng. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Dahmash, the Vice President of GACA for Quality and Passenger Experience, emphasized the importance of these regulations, stating,

“These changes reflect GACA’s focus on putting the passenger first, by strengthening regulations that secure better service quality for passengers. The regulations cover new ground in supporting passengers affected by travel disruptions and support the Kingdom’s broader Saudi Aviation Strategy growth agenda.”

The regulations have been finalized following extensive consultation with stakeholders, including the public, air service providers and international aviation sector organizations. GACA is leading efforts with airlines, airports and service providers to prepare for the implementation of the regulations.

The regulations are a key component in enabling the aviation sector’s Saudi Aviation Strategy growth objectives, including tripling passenger numbers to 330 million per annum and connecting the Kingdom with more than 250 global destinations by 2030. The Kingdom is experiencing unprecedented growth across the aviation sector, in support the Kingdom’s broader Vision 2030 tourism, travel and economic diversification objectives. 

About the Saudi Aviation Strategy and GACA

The Saudi Aviation Strategy is transforming the entire Saudi aviation ecosystem to become the number one aviation sector in the Middle East by 2030, enabled by Vision 2030 and in line with the Kingdom’s National Transport and Logistics Strategy.

The Strategy is unlocking US$100 billion in private and government investment across the Kingdom’s airports, airlines and aviation support services. The Strategy will extend Saudi Arabia’s connectivity from 99 to more than 250 destinations across 29 airports, triple annual passenger traffic to 330 million, establish two global long-haul connecting hubs, and increase air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons. 

The Saudi Aviation Strategy is led by the Kingdom’s aviation regulator, the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA). GACA’s regulatory mission is to develop the air transport industry in accordance with the latest international standards, strengthen the position of the Kingdom as a globally influential player in civil aviation, and enforce the relevant rules, regulations and procedures to ensure air transport safety and security.

Source : GACA

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