UAE airliner Etihad pulls flights to Saudi Arabia

UAE airliner Etihad pulls flights to Saudi Arabia 'until further notice'
2 min read
02 August, 2021
Abu Dhabi's Etihad airline has suspended flights to neighbouring Saudi Arabia "until further notice".

UAE airliner Etihad said Monday it has suspended flights to Saudi Arabia until further notice.

The state-owned airliner announced on its websites that flights to the kingdom have been cancelled until 10 August in line with government directives but this date could be extended.

It came after Saudi Arabia barred nationals from travelling to "red list" countries due to Covid fears, including the UAE.

"This is an evolving situation, and this date may have to be extended in line with government mandates," the airline said on its website, according to Gulf News. 

"Etihad is working closely with impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries."

Riyadh, last month, warned that Saudi nationals flouting rules and traveling to "red list" countries without prior approval could face a three-year travel ban.

Saudi Arabia also announced in July that nationals can only leave the country if they have been double jabbed with a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Around a quarter of the Saudi population have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines and more than 70 percent have had one jab.

After a long closure due to Covid fears, Saudi Arabia on the weekend opened its borders to foreign tourists from 49 countries who have received both doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Astra Zeneca vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's.

These visitors will not have to quarantine if they provide a vaccine certificate and negative PCR test before travelling to the kingdom.