Qatar-Saudi flights resume after landmark 'Al Ula' agreement - GulfToday

Qatar-Saudi flights resume after landmark 'Al Ula' agreement


Saudi Meshaal Al Anzi (C) accompanies his Qatari sister Marzoka and her son upon their arrival at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh on Monday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Following the signing of the Al Ula Declaration at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit recently, Qatar-Saudi flights resumed on Monday.

A Qatar Airways service to Riyadh took off from windswept Doha airport around 1100 GMT and touched down around 1200 GMT on Monday.

QatarAirways-flightA Qatar Airways airplane takes off from Hamad International Airport. AFP

It was the first commercial flight between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in three and a half years.


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Relatives at arrivals hall of Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport waited eagerly for their kin and the moment they emerged out families hugged and laughed.

Two men were seen waiting, holding large bunches of flowers which they gave to two women who arrived with a child.

"Thank God, may God save the (Saudi) King, the Crown Prince and the Rulers of all the Gulf. It's a great feeling," said one tearful man on being reunited with his nephew in Riyadh.

Reporters gather near a Qatar Airways plane at Hamad International Airport in Doha. AFP

"I am very happy! Thanks to God we have been reunited again," said his newly arrived nephew as the family kissed and embraced.

At Doha, airport staff filmed aircraft taxiing on the runway, anxious to ensure they got a clip of the relevant plane taking off, according to an media reporter on the ground.


A Saudi Airlines plane will also fly on Monday from Riyadh to Doha, departing the kingdom at 1340 GMT according to its online schedule, with services from Jeddah expected to start at a later date.


AirportDohaPassengers heading to the waiting lounge to take the Riyadh flight at Hamad Airport. AFP

Just as the first flight to Riyadh was preparing to take off, Qatar Airways tweeted that services to Jeddah and Dammam would resume later in the week.


Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have both opened their airspace to Qatari aviation under the deal.


Monday's flight flew straight across Bahrain according to specialist flight tracker FlightAware.

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