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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: A total of 756,644 passengers took 9,558 domestic flights in Saudi Arabia between May 31 and June 30, an official with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) told Arab News.
GACA has resumed domestic flights gradually with the aim of ensuring travelers’ safety. All the necessary health measures have been taken in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and relevant government agencies within airport facilities, the official said.
Dentist Afnan Al-Faidi told Arab News: “I’m a frequent flyer and traveled recently from Riyadh to Madinah after domestic flights were resumed. My experience was very good.”
She added: “Of course, there are some changes. I used to reach the airport just 30 minutes before the flight, but now one has to reach two hours before to check in.”
As per the new regulations aimed at fighting the spread of COVID-19, passengers should reach the airport at least two hours before the flight to undergo all necessary checks.
“Another change I noticed was the absence of hard copies of boarding passes. Now passengers have to use electronic copies of their passes saved on their mobile phones,” said Al-Faidi.
“A major change I noticed was guides on duty to help travelers with where to stand to keep a safe distance from each other,” she added.
“In the waiting lounge, seating arrangements were made to follow social-distancing norm. Before boarding, passengers were divided into groups according to their seats and allowed to enter at a safe distance,” she said.
“Inside the plane, social distancing was followed with empty seats between passengers. The flight attendants were wearing disposable gowns, goggles and masks, and passengers were wearing face masks.”
GACA said more than 55,000 men and women arrived at the Kingdom’s airports via Saudi Arabian Airlines under the citizens’ repatriation program that began on April 5.
A number of government agencies participated in the program, including GACA and the ministries of foreign affairs, health, tourism and interior.
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