Saudi Arabia denies announcing resumption date for international flights

by Maruf Adedeji

The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday August 12, 2020, condemned a fake circular suggesting the country will resume international flights in October this year.

An official statement from GACA spokesman, Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alworsa, said the circular on the flight resumption is “completely baseless and fabricated”.

Saudi Arabia suspended international flights from 15 March, 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, rumours have been circulating on social media platforms that international flights in the country will shortly return.

Alworsa shared a tweet from the authority’s public relations department describing the circular as incorrect.

The bogus GACA circular was shared on various social media platforms following reopening of the airspace for domestic flights on 31 May, 2020.

The circular, titled “No flights till October 2020,” said, “An employee of the GACA has stated in a recent interview that all international flights to and from the Kingdom are to remain suspended till the month of October”.

Quoting a GACA official, the circular said that the decision was subject to the number of coronavirus cases, which must “come down to three digits”.

“The civil aviation authority has earlier said that there is no specific date for the resumption of international flights,” he said.

However, Saudi Kingdom allows humanitarian assistance and emergency cases, medical evacuation flights and repatriation of stranded citizens and expatriates wanting to return home.

As it stands, all international flights remain suspended across the Kingdom until further notice.

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