No date has been set for the resumption of international flights to and from Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced on Wednesday.
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“GACA confirms that there is no specific date yet for the date of the resumption of international flights and that the decision will be taken based on the evaluation of the competent authorities. The Authority calls upon everyone to take information update from official sources,” GACA said.
“There are specialized committees to carry out studies in this regard, and whenever these committees recommend that the time is appropriate for the resumption of international flights, the decision in this regard will be announced then,” the GACA spokesman Ibrahim Al-Rawsaa had said in June.
International flights in Saudi Arabia were suspended in March as part of efforts to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.
So far, there have been 255,825 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,557 virus-related deaths in the country.
Domestic tourism resumes
Saudi Arabia began resuming domestic tourism and allowing flights within the Kingdom on June 21.
The ministry had launched a study to examine whether Saudi Arabian citizens want tourism within the country to reopen, he added.
“It was revealed in a research study carried out by the Tourism Authority that 80 percent of Saudi citizens want to take advantage of domestic tourism. We will launch the domestic tourism program for the public after having made necessary coordination with the Ministry of Health and the concerned higher authorities,” al-Khateeb said.
The minister said that relaunching domestic tourism would help reduce COVID-19’s negative impact on the tourism sector, adding that the stimulus package offered by the country’s government had already helped ease the pressure.
“Saudi Arabia has initiated a package of financial stimulus activities with a total value of more than $61 billion to protect jobs and businesses and reduce the economic burden of the crisis. The domestic tourism sector has benefited from it as one of the important economic sectors, as it covered 60 percent of salaries of Saudi employees in the private sector for a period of three months, al-Khateeb said.