The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA) has outlined plans to resume international flights from 17 May.

In a statement that was sent out to local airports, Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority stated that all overseas flights will resume regular operations in May as opposed to 31 March announced earlier in January.

However, the authority may continue to suspend travelling to those countries where the situation of the pandemic continues to be detrimental.

The authority also emphasised the need to adhere to precautionary measures and preventive protocols.

On 29 January, Saudi Arabia extended the travel ban for its citizens to 17 May instead of 31 March and delayed the reopening of its airports, sea and land.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Saudi domestic airlines are experiencing a faster recovery in routes within the kingdom in comparison with bigger regional carriers.

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During the recently held Centre for Aviation (CAPA) live industry event, it was revealed that Saudi Arabia’s domestic airline sector is recovering sturdily compared to some of its neighbours.

Due to its under-developed domestic market, the Middle East took a massive hit during the global aviation slowdown.

Arab News quoted CAPA analyst Richard Maslen as saying: “The domestic recovery in Saudi Arabia is already showing positive signs, in frequency terms at least.”

As per the CAPA data, weekly domestic flights in the kingdom have increased to about 3,000, representing a downfall of about 23% in the first two months of 2021 compared with the same period of last year.