Qatar Airways and Saudi Airlines reopen their land border crossing following landmark deal to end the three-year-old Gulf crisis. The national carriers will resume flights between Doha and Riyadh from Jan 11.
A Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit declared an end to the bitter rift in which members Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain – along with Egypt – blockaded Qatar since June 2017. The group severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, an accusation Doha vehemently denied and said the embargo was meant to undermine its sovereignty.
Qatar Airways said via Twitter, it will resume flights to Riyadh on Jan 11, Jeddah from Jan 14, and Dammam from Jan 16.
It said the flights would be with wide-body planes including the Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-8 and Airbus A350.
According to the airline via Twitter, they also look forward to resuming a strong relationship with their trade and cargo partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the major airports in the country.
Saudi Airlines also tweeted that it too would resume flights from Riyadh and Jeddah to Doha from Jan 11.
A UAE official this week said travel and trade links could resume within a week of the deal, but restoring diplomatic ties requires more time as parties work to rebuild trust.
Measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus are in place on both sides of the Saudi-Qatar land border.
The Qatar News Agency released a statement stating that all arrivals into Qatar crossing at Abu Samra must undergo a coronavirus test and obtaining a virus-free certificate no more than 72 hours before travel and also be subject to hotel quarantine for one week.