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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Flydubai mulls resuming Syria flights as UAE regulator studies Damascus airport safety

Etihad Airways, meanwhile, does not have "immediate plans" to resume Syria flights and is monitoring the situation

Flydubai is evaluating restarting services to Syria. Bloomberg
Flydubai is evaluating restarting services to Syria. Bloomberg

Budget carrier Flydubai is mulling resuming flights to Syria after the UAE's aviation regulator said it is evaluating the possibility of national carriers returning to serve the Syrian capital Damascus.

The Dubai airline will communicate any plans for the Syrian market when the authorities make a decision on lifting a ban on UAE carriers to fly to Syria, a spokeswoman for the Flydubai said on Wednesday.

"Flydubai is considering the option to re-enter the market and will announce any operational updates once the decision is made by the relevant authorities to reinstate the UAE national carriers’ operations to Syria," the carrier said, adding that it "follows the regulations of the General Civil Aviation Authority" (GCAA).

The GCAA said earlier this week it is evaluating the return of UAE carriers to the Syrian market and is investigating the safety of Damascus airport. The comments came after the Emirates re-opened its embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus in December. UAE carriers suspended their flights to Syria in 2012 citing security concerns during the civil war in the Arab country.

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"The restrictions on the Syrian airspace has yet to be lifted and a team of the GCAA is studying the safety of Damascus airport and developing a vision for the re-operation of the UAE national airlines soon," the GCAA said.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways does not have immediate plans to re-start flights to Damascus but continues to monitor the situation and will communicate any future developments, an airlines spokeswoman said.

Dubai-based Emirates, the sister airline of Flydubai, also said it is monitoring the situation and does not have any announcement at this time.

Updated: January 16, 2019 06:46 PM

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