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Thursday, 09 April 2020

Saudi Arabia, Egypt to operate limited flights to bring nationals home following travel restrictions: Authorities

EgyptAir said that it is temporarily operating flights to Saudi Arabia from Tuesday till 24 March to bring home Egyptian nationals from the Gulf country

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Mar 2020
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Exterior of Terminal 1 is pictured at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt, July 21, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt and Saudi Arabia are operating limited flights between the two countries to facilitate the return of their nationals, authorities in both countries said, after the Gulf kingdom suspended travel to and from some countries including Egypt.

Egypt's flagship airline EgyptAir said early on Tuesday that it is temporarily operating flights to Saudi Arabia from Tuesday till 24 March to "bring back Egyptians stuck in the kingdom".

The national carrier will run two daily flights from the port city of Jeddah to Cairo, one daily trip from Medina to Cairo, in addition to flights from the cities of Riyadh, Dammam, Qassim and Abha, it added in a statement.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia suspended travel to nine countries, including Egypt, over coronavirus fears and banned the entry of people from those countries or any traveller who has been there in the past 14 day.

However, the Saudi Embassy in Cairo later said that flights between the two countries on Saudi and Egyptian airlines would be operated on Tuesday and Wednesday to take its citizens back home.

Egypt's foreign ministry said the decision only applies to Saudi nationals present in Egypt and does not include Egyptians.

According to official figures, Egyptian airports usually have nearly 70 daily flights between the two countries, mostly operated by EgyptAir and Saudi Airlines.

Egypt announced late on Monday that the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen climbed to 59, with the health ministry saying on Tuesday that 26 of patients have now tested negative for the virus. Egypt reported on Sunday that a German national was the first coronavirus patient to die in the country.

Saudi Arabia detected five new cases of the coronavirus late on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 20, including one Egyptian man who arrived from Egypt to the kingdom, the kingdom's health ministry said.

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