Twenty-eight years later after the First Gulf War, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) now operates flights to two cities in Iraq where just over a year ago it had none.
Saudia launched its first direct flight to Erbil in Iraq yesterday, its second destination in the country after it began operating on the route between Jeddah and Baghdad last year.
The addition of the flight routes comes as both countries embark on a full-fledged resumption of ties, including those related to aviation.
“My happiness on this day I cannot describe, and I stand today [with] you for the first time [in] Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, a country of history and culture,” the director general of Saudia, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said yesterday.
“We [are] extending the hand of cooperation and communication between the two countries and the two brotherly peoples, and we look forward to this occasion… [It] is just a beginning [to be] followed by many expansions that increase the bonds of cooperation and communication between the two countries,” he added.
Flights to Erbil are a “historic occasion worthy of celebration,” said Erbil International Airport President Talar Faiq Saleh. “The two brothers [Saudi Arabia and Iraq] relations are witnessing great development in the current stage and growing in all fields,” he added.
Saudia will operate three weekly return flights to Erbil from Jeddah on an Airbus A320. The flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Source: Arabian Business