New Syria airline hopeful Geneva talks will spur business

Damascus-based airline ‘Kinda’ plans routes to cities including Amman, Beirut and Dubai

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A Syrian airline that plans to launch in March says it is hopeful that the Geneva II peace talks will help revive business in the war-torn country, it has been reported.

The Damascus-based airline, named ‘Kinda’, hopes to start flying to cities such as Amman, Beirut, and Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, according to Bloomberg.

Esmail Sharaf, Vice Commercial Manager of Kinda, told Bloomberg he was confident the U.N.-backed Geneva II peace talks, which begin today in the Swiss town of Montreux, would have a positive impact in Syria.

“We are hopeful the situation will be improved after Geneva,” he reportedly said.

“We had a tourism industry - it was hit, but it will come back,” he added. “There is commercial logic, there is profit, there are passengers coming into and out of Syria, so we’re optimistic… The security issue will be resolved and this is what we are hoping for and we’ll operate based on that.”

The bloody civil war has disrupted air travel to Syria, with carriers including Dubai’s Emirates having suspended flights to Damascus in late 2012.

Aleppo international airport, closed for a year because of fighting, reopened Wednesday with the landing of a civilian aircraft, according to state media quoted by AFP.

The Syrian Air plane was pictured live by state TV cameras positioned at the airport, which had been closed since January 2013.

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