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Etihad halts Saudi Arabia flights after Kingdom announces travel suspension

WAM/Abu Dhabi
Filed on March 9, 2020 | Last updated on March 9, 2020 at 12.04 pm
etihad, saudi arabia, coronavirus, flights, makkah, medihan, riyadh, jeddah, dammam, abu dhabi, UAE, covid-19

Saudi Arabia has temporarily restricted the entry for arrivals from and travel to 9 countries into its territories.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has announced that it has halted all flights between the emirate and Saudi Arabia in response to a directive from the Kingdom's General Authority for Civil Aviation to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The airline operates up to 12 flights per day between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, said a press release issued by Etihad on Monday, noting that it has cancelled a total of seven flights today between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Madinah, and is now advising passengers who were booked to travel today.

Another four flights which were en-route to Saudi Arabia at the time of the directive were permitted to land. When flights arrived in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, nationals of Saudi Arabia were permitted to disembark but all other passengers remained on the aircraft, which will return to Abu Dhabi. The fourth flight operated to Madinah to repatriate Umrah passengers.

Etihad is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and is continuing to monitor this situation closely.

For passengers impacted by the flight cancellations, procedures are in place for fare refunds or for flight changes when services resume. Etihad will continue to provide updates on the situation as information becomes available.

In addition to the flight suspensions to and from the UAE, Saudi Arabia has also banned Saudi nationals and Saudi residents from travelling to countries including the UAE and on passengers travelling from or transiting through Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, Egypt and Korea.

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