Egypt, Saudi Arabia discuss increasing flights to pre-coronavirus levels

Ahram Online , Thursday 3 Jun 2021

Air traffic had come to a halt in both countries for several months due to the pandemic

Egypt, Saudi Arabia
Ahmed Farouk, the Egyptian Ambassador to Riyadh (second to left), and Abdulaziz Al Duailej, the head of the Kingdom's General Authority of Civil Aviation (R) during a meeting on Wednesday, 2 June 2021 (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Egypt and Saudi Arabia tackled the means to resume flights between the two countries at their pre-pandemic levels after Cairo and Riyadh had halted civil aviation activities for several months owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a meeting on Wednesday, Ahmed Farouk, Egypt's ambassador in Riyadh, and Abdel-Aziz Al-Duailej, head of the kingdom's General Authority of Civil Aviation, discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation in civil aviation, read a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Egypt is well prepared to receive the large number of Saudis who are expected to visit the country this summer, Farouk said. 

He also hailed the "growing" cooperation between the aviation authorities of both countries, the statement continued. 

Saudi Arabia reopened its airports, seaports, and land border crossings early on 17 May, allowing its citizens to travel outside the kingdom as it lifted the 14-month-long travel ban imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Egypt began resuming regular international flights at all its airports in July, after a four-month hiatus due to the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia hosts the biggest community of Egyptian expatriates in the world, estimated at more than two million in 2020.

The pandemic has infected a total of 264,557 in Egypt, and claimed 15,178 lives, while 453,000 people were infected and 7,393 died in Saudi Arabia. 

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