Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Saudi Arabia will resume international flights and reopen airports all over the kingdom, starting May 17, 2021 or Shawwal 5, 1442 Hijri, Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has confirmed.
In a circular on Wednesday (March 10), the GACA informed all airlines operating from the Saudi airports about the change of the date mentioned in an earlier circular for allowing Saudi citizens to travel abroad, as well as the complete lifting of the suspension of international flights, and the opening of the kingdom’s airports, Saudi Gazette reported.
The decision will be effective on May 17 (Shawwal 5, 1442 Hijri), from 1.00 a.m., the circular stated.
In the earlier circular issued on Jan. 12, the GACA notified the airlines about the previously scheduled date for the resumption of service, which was March 31.
The authority stressed the need to adhere to the preventive protocols and precautionary measures as well as instructions issued by the concerned higher committee in this regard to stem the spread of coronavirus epidemic in the kingdom.
It also noted that the implementation of the decision to allow travel and return would not be applicable to countries that the committee decides to suspend travel or return due to the spread of the pandemic.
On Jan. 29 this year Saudi Arabia postponed the reopening of its sea, land, and airports and extended the travel ban for its citizens to May 17, instead of March 31.
The official source at The Interior Ministry said the decision was taken based on the Health Ministry’s statement that the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers were late in delivering contracted batches on schedule.
The source added the move to extend the date was made due to the importance of reaching high levels of herd immunity in Saudi Arabia before travel is permitted, in light of a possible second wave of the pandemic in many countries, in the interest of public health in the kingdom and to maintain low infection rates.
Reporting by Indonesia Window