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Syrian national airline resumes flights to Saudi Arabia

1 min

The Syrian national airline has resumed regular flights to Saudi Arabia after a 12-year interruption, with the arrival of its first plane in Riyadh on Wednesday, as announced by Syrian Ambassador to the Kingdom, Ayman Soussan. 

Riyadh, which had supported Syrian rebel groups at the beginning of the conflict and closed its embassy in 2012, has since reestablished ties with Damascus © Microsoft 

The Syrian national airline has resumed regular flights to Saudi Arabia after a 12-year interruption, with the arrival of its first plane in Riyadh on Wednesday, as announced by Syrian Ambassador to the Kingdom, Ayman Soussan. 

This move marks a significant step in the normalization of relations between the two countries.

"At 06:30 on Wednesday, a Syrian Airlines plane landed with 170 Syrian passengers on board," stated the Syrian diplomat. The two nations have agreed to "ensure a weekly round-trip flight between Riyadh and Damascus," he added.

In late May, a plane carrying Syrian pilgrims to Mecca landed in Jeddah, in the west of the kingdom, for the first time in over 12 years. Regular flights may be expanded to other airports, such as Jeddah or Dammam, "depending on demand, needs, and the market," according to Suleiman Khalil, the communication officer for the Syrian Ministry of Transport.

It remains unclear if Saudi airlines will also resume services to Damascus. Following years of isolation due to the repression of a popular uprising in 2011 that escalated into a civil war, Bashar al-Assad's Syria was readmitted to the Arab League in May 2023.

Riyadh, which had supported Syrian rebel groups at the beginning of the conflict and closed its embassy in 2012, has since reestablished ties with Damascus and reopened its diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital. 

A chargé d'affaires was sent, and a Syrian ambassador took office in Riyadh in December.

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