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The first Hajj flight begins from Damascus to Jeddah

Today, a Syrian Airlines plane departed from Damascus to Jeddah on the first Hajj flight from Syria in 12 years, the day after Riyadh announced the appointment of its ambassador to Damascus.
Director of the Media Office at the Syrian Ministry of Transport, Suleiman Khalil, told Agence France-Presse: “A flight with 270 passengers on board took off at dawn on Tuesday after all flights between the two countries stopped in 2012.”
He added, “The current decision to operate flights relates to the Hajj period only, while the decision to regularly operate Syrian airlines towards Saudi airports has not been taken yet.”
Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic relations with Syria and closed its embassies in 2012, a year after the beginning of the Syrian crisis.
After the devastating earthquake that struck Syria in February 2023, killing nearly six thousand people, an air line returned in an exceptional manner, operating relief aid flights without carrying passengers, according to the director of the media office of the Syrian Ministry of Transport.
He continued: “The authorities of the two countries are working to resume the operation of the direct air route between the airports of the two countries.”
For his part, Director of the Syrian Airlines Corporation, Hatem Kabbas, told Agence France-Presse: “We have taken all necessary measures within Damascus International Airport to secure the Hajj groups, and we have completed the schedule of departure flights,” noting “the rehabilitation of a hall designated to receive pilgrims.”
Riyadh also announced on Sunday the nomination of Faisal bin Saud Al-Mujaffal as its ambassador to Damascus, to be the Kingdom’s first ambassador to Syria since 2012, in a move that came after the two countries resumed their diplomatic relations last October.
On October 1, 2023, the Syrian embassy in Riyadh was reopened.

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