Saudi airlines to start domestic flights again

Saudi Arabia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is continuing with plans to reopen despite a significant number of new infections daily.

al-monitor A Saudi Arabian Airlines passenger plane is pictured parked at the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International airport in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines, Sept. 20, 2016.  Photo by REUTERS/Erik De Castro.

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curfew, eid al-fitr, lockdown, airports, travel, airlines, flight, coronavirus

May 28, 2020

Airlines in Saudi Arabia will resume domestic flights next week after months of planes being grounded.

On May 31, some domestic flights will take off again; there will be 60 flights a day at first. Domestic travel, worship in mosques, and work in public and private sector offices will also resume on that date, Reuters reported today.

The news is the latest sign that the oil-rich kingdom heavily afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic is trying to open up again. Saudi Arabia instituted several lockdown measures to curb the virus starting in March, including flight bans.

Saudi Arabia tried to resume normal life in April, but then instituted a five-day, 24-hour curfew for the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr. That measure will expire on Thursday when the curfew hours will be reduced.

Cases continue to rise in the Gulf country by more than 1,000 per day. Saudi Arabia registered 1,815 new cases of the virus today, the Saudi news outlet Arab News reported. The total number of cases in Saudi Arabia is 80,185, according to Worldometer.

The Saudi authorities continue to try and keep the virus under control. More than 200 delivery workers in the northern al-Jawf region have been fined for not adhering to safety measures, such as wearing masks, according to Arab News. The Saudi Interior Ministry also created a special police unit to enforce virus-related restrictions this month.

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