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Cairo-Medina flight halt to be eased soon
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 10 - 04 - 2010

An Egyptian aviation official said Saturday that an Egyptian-Saudi dispute, which caused the suspension of flights between the Egyptian capital and the holy city of Medina, would be resolved soon.
"Co-ordination between Egyptian and Saudi officials will bear fruit soon as the suspension of flights is due to an exceptional circumstance," said Sameh Hanafi, the head of Egypt's Civl Aviation Authority (ECAA).
He added that the Egyptian-Saudi strong ties would help ease the crisis to help Egyptian passengers heading to Medina, mostly pilgrims.
EgyptAir, the national carrier, suspended flights to Medina last week as a row between the ECAA and its Saudi counterpart over landing rights deepened when the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation refused to permit two EgyptAir flights to land at Medina Airport this week.
Saudi authorities said they would not permit EgyptAir to add any new flights until the ECAA allowed Saudi private sector airlines to land at Cairo International Airport.
The ECAA does not allow any private sector or charter airlines to land at Cairo airport.
The flight suspension has cost EgyptAir LE300,000 in daily losses, said Alaa Ashour, the Chairman of EgyptAir Airlines.
"The suspension of the route has affected not only the company, but also the passengers, many of them had to change their travel plans."
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have an ‘Open Sky' agreement under which airlines can increase the number of flights on routes between the two countries without prior permission, the paper added.

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