TRAVEL | Airlines Report Huge Demand From Stranded Expats Wishing To Return To Saudi Arabia

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – A large number of expats in the Indian subcontinent say they want to return to the Kingdom, a Saudi airlines official said as the country resumed international flights to 20 cities.

In line with the directions of the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation travelers can now fly to Amman, Dubai, Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Khartoum, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Paris, Washington DC, Islamabad, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.

The company source said domestic flights had resumed and citizens and residents were able to travel without getting tested. However, the scale of the operation was affected due to social distancing measures.

The source said many expats had expressed a wish to return, especially from the Indian subcontinent in India and Pakistan.

The source also said the Ultraviolet C light sanitization process has been added to the aircraft’s cleaning protocol. ‘Airplanes are sanitized after each trip, as are all the airports’ halls and rooms’.

Filed teams are working around the clock and are handling the sanitization operations on a daily basis, using eco-friendly products in line with the highest international health and safety standards, he added.

‘The sanitizing cover doors, gates, walls, waiting seats, passport check points, luggage scanners and carts, restrooms and everything travelers touch to prevent the spread of the coronavirus’.

Saudi Arabia partially lifted the suspension of international flights from Sept 15., six months after travel restrictions were imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will end all restrictions on air, land and sea transport at some point after Jan.1 next year, the Interior Ministry said, on a date to be announced in December. The airline normally flies to more 85 destinations worldwide.

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