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Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has said it has carried more passengers in the first quarter of this year compared with the same quarter last year, Saudi Gazette has reported. The kingdom's national airline flew 5.72 million passengers in the first three months of 2012 compared with 4.55 million a year earlier. The number of domestic passengers increased 25% to 3.46 million in the first quarter from a year earlier, it said. In April, the General Authority for Civil Aviation said it would begin granting airline licenses for the right to operate both local and international flights. Currently, Saudia and budget airline National Air Services serve a domestic market of around 27 million people.