Retail up 12% in Q3 as pax totals reach parity, reports Riyadh Airports Company

By Luke Barras-hill |

Passenger traffic at King Khalid International Airport grew 75% on Q3 2021, with international volumes up +5.5%. 

Riyadh Airports Company (RAC) has revealed duty free revenue growth of +62% in the third quarter against the same period in 2019.

The operator of King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) increased duty free sales across the terminals by 90% in September alone versus Q3 2019.

Passengers recovered to 99% of those recorded cumulatively over July, August and September 2019, following the highest-ever passenger record achieved in August and a full recovery of September’s numbers versus the same month in 2019.

Growth in international pax registered +5.5% for the period, notching +8% and +11% in August and September, respectively.

Year to date, total passengers have surpassed 92% of 2019 volumes and are up 77% on 2021.

Abdulaziz Al-Asaker, Commercial Group Acting VP, RAC, said: “Once again, these are excellent results, both for passenger numbers and our terminal led sales and we are proud to be leading the region in pandemic recovery and growth beyond. We were especially happy to see our all time record achieved in August and the growing strength in the international sector driving that.

“Our focus on a collaborative approach with our airlines and commercial partners is strongly supporting the underlying growth and the steady transformation of KKIA as we work toward the Aviation Strategy 2030 and achieving 100m passengers through the airport.”

The latest results in Q3 underline what has been a series of very robust growth performances at KKIA dating to the third quarter of 2021.

Last month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia approved the expansion of duty free shops to land border crossings, seaports and airport arrivals zones in a move praised as a ‘step change’ in an ‘electric’ travel market, according to a well-placed TRBusiness source.

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