Saudi Arabia To Resume Domestic Flights

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
Saudi Arabia To Resume Domestic Flights

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it will resume some domestic flights from 31 May. Saudi’s civil aviation body has permitted resumption of a few domestic flights, after the Kingdom relaxed restrictions. However, the resumption will be done in stages to include all local destinations. The kingdom suspended domestic flights on March 21 in the wake of the spread of the pandemic around the world.

What’s It?

Saudi Arabian Airlines will resume 60 flights each day in the first phase. All domestic flights to and from Jeddah will be operated through the new Terminal 1. The carrier also continues to operate its international flights to repatriate citizens.

The first stage includes operation of the following airports:

  1. King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh
  2. King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah
  3. King Fahd International Airport in Dammam
  4. Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah
  5. Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Qassim
  6. Abha International Airport
  7. Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Tabuk
  8. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Jazan
  9. Hail International Airport
  10. King Saud Airport in Al-Bahah
  11. Najran Airport
Credits: The National

In addition, the kingdom also lifted bans on domestic travel, is permitting prayers in mosques, and workplace attendance in both the government and private sector. The first phase of easing in the holy city of Mecca will be carried out between May 31 to June 20 and the second will begin on June 21.

What Else?

The Kingdom eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Thursday, 21 May. The Interior Ministry said there will be a three-phase return to normality. The first phase begins today until May 30, when curfew times will ease in the Kingdom’s regions, except Makkah, between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Travel between cities will be permitted, but not during curfew. Business activities including wholesale and retail shops will be permitted to resume and operate outside curfew hours. However, beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas, will continue to remain shut.

The second phase will run from May 31 to June 20, during which curfew will be further relaxed from 6 am to 8 pm, except in Makkah. Friday and group prayers in the Grand mosque can be held, but with precautionary measures. The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has issued a list of rules to be followed:

  1. Worshippers must bring their own mat
  2. The Qur’an must be read on smartphones or worshippers must bring their own copy
  3. Worshippers must maintain a 2-meter distance
  4. People with chronic diseases, as well as the elderly and children below the age of 15, are not allowed in mosques.

Mosque will open 15 minutes before the call to prayer and will close 10 minutes after the prayer. On Fridays mosques will open 20 minutes before adhan and close 20 minutes after prayer. Friday prayers and sermons should not exceed 15 minutes.