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Al-Jasser: Our airports are ready, abide by the precautionary measures
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 30 - 05 - 2020

Okaz/Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH — Minister of Transport Eng. Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser, who is also the chairman of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), inspected on Saturday the Hall No.1 at the new Jeddah-based King Abdulaziz International Airport and reviewed preparations to resume domestic flights.
During the inspection tour, Al-Jasser assessed the abidance on the ground the precautionary measures to combat novel coronavirus and all other protocols.
"The Kingdom's airports are ready for operation of domestic flights today (Sunday). All the domestic flights from and to Jeddah will be from the new terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport for all national airlines," Al-Jasser confirmed on Saturday.
Al-Jasser called on all staff, workers and passengers to abide by the announced simplified precautionary measures that will ensure a safe environment for all. He expressed satisfaction on all the preparations and protocols in place to restart operations of local flights.
Al-Jasser stressed that the passenger transport sector at the world level is one of the most affected sectors by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"We have seen a drop in the operation capability and restricting it to the evacuation process and "Awdah" Initiative. The resumption of operation of domestic flights and their increase in the coming stage will create some kind of optimism on the return of matters to their normal track."
Al-Jasser further said that the government has presented many programs and initiatives to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 crisis on the private sector, especially the airlines and transport sector. These initiatives were announced and the Ministry of Transport, the competent authorities, airlines and GACA are following the latest developments continuously.
Al-Jasser said that 100 domestic flights will be operated and the number will be increased gradually. He added that the airports have isolation rooms supervised by the health authorities.
Okaz, during the tour, had noticed all the professional measures taken are in place and that included thermal cameras, and stopping operation of vending machines for self-service sales and boarding pass issuance. Now there is reliance on modern technology via apps and websites.
The protocols included sterilization operations in all parts of the airport, aside from special seating arrangements taking into consideration mandatory social distancing.
GACA President Abdulhadi Bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri accompanied him during the visit. Working plan to shift flights to the Hall N.1 at the airport, in collaboration with national airliners, has been set in process, it was revealed.
The operation would be gradually expanded during the next coming phases, before operating in full capacity, at all airports, in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) started implementing preventive measures relating to the resumption of domestic flights, set to begin on Sunday.
The airlines expressed keenness on putting the protocols in place for guests and staff safety, within the context of combat novel coronavirus. The airliner will carry out all transactions via its official website and other online platforms, or on smart applications.
It would also abide by the precautionary measures such as putting on the medical/cloth masks, observing social distancing at airports, among other safety measures.

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