Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced the adoption of a new executive regulation to protect the rights of passengers, replacing the existing one, which will come into force on Nov. 20, 2023.
The regulation included 30 articles that guarantee the passenger’s right to receive proper care, support and compensation, amounting up to 150- 200 percent of the ticket value. The compensation will be given in the event of departure of flight ahead of schedule or delay in departure or cancellation of flights, as well as in the event of refusal to board the plane due to overbooking, and downgrading. Some of these compensations amount to 150 percent and 200 percent of the ticket value, it was stipulated in the new regulation.
The new regulation guarantees passengers, upon loss of luggage, a financial compensation equivalent to SR6568. In the event of damage, defect or delay of baggage, the passenger is entitled to get a financial compensation not exceeding SR6568.
The regulation also guaranteed compensation to travelers in the event of adding a stopover point that was not announced when confirming the reservation of ticket. The regulation clarified the obligations of both the passengers and the air carrier.
The regulations also deal with the rights of passengers with disabilities and special requirements. The regulations guaranteed the rights of customers, who are traveling on board chartered flights, especially the seasonal Hajj and Umrah trips.
The new regulation aims to contribute to upgrading air transport services, enhancing its efficiency, and improving the traveler’s experience to and from Saudi Arabia and within the Kingdom, by providing the necessary care and support. The regulation also aims to protect the rights of passengers to achieve orderly, safe and comfortable travel.
GACA Vice President for Quality and Traveler Experience Eng. Abdulaziz Aldahmash emphasized that the new regulation reflects the authority’s interest in the satisfaction of passengers, and its keenness to improve the travel experience in the Kingdom’s skies, by protecting passengers from any sudden changes in air traffic, and providing them with better options.
The authority’s adoption of the new regulation reflects its constant commitment to development and the search for everything that adds to the passenger experience in pursuit of achieving the goals of the national strategy for the aviation sector, Aldahmash said, adding that the strategy aims to empower Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and strive to achieve its goals in the tourism sector and enhance its capabilities to diversify the economy.
It is noteworthy that GACA is keen to develop and improve the system in general, through its adoption of several initiatives and programs, with the aim of contributing to the advancement of the air transport industry locally, regionally and internationally, in several areas. This is in accordance with the latest international systems and standards, based on and derived from the national strategy for the civil aviation sector, which aims to enable the aviation sector in the Kingdom to become the topper in the Middle East, reaching a target of 330 million passengers. It also aims to raise the capacity of air freight to 4.5 million tons, and raise the level of air connectivity to reach 250 destinations to and from the Kingdom’s airports by 2030.