Red Sea tourism project awards airport operator contract to DAA International

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Red Sea Project Airport
Representational Image

The sustainable luxury tourism developer the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has appointed an Irish company DAA International as the airport operator of the Red Sea project.

As per the deal, the Irish aviation company will offer airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services. DAA International was opted by the project authority for its excellence in offering a luxury airport experience and its commitment towards attaining sustainability goals.

 “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 of TRSDC.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
DAA International

“We intend to deliver a seamless airport experience for passengers, underpinned by a commitment to achieving TRSDC’s stringent sustainability goals. We’re pleased to play our role in helping to open up this new destination and wonderful country to the rest of the world.”

The Red Sea International Airport will serve nearly one million passengers annually by operating in high capacity of 900 passengers per hour when the resort project is completed in 2030. The airport was awarded to UK-based architecture firm Foster + Partners in October 2019.

The project was announced by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in July 2017. Elements of the first phase of the flagship project are due to open in 2022, with full completion expected by 2030.

Construction at the project site is well underway and the developer last year announced it had awarded approximately 500 contracts valued at $3.19 billion to date and will reach $3.99 billion by the end of 2020.

By 2022, the project will open four hotels, with 12 more scheduled to start functioning before 2023, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to 3,000 across five islands and two inland resorts. Upon full completion in 2030, the project will have 50 hotels and 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.