Regional airlines suspend services to Khartoum amid growing unrest

Selina Denman

Regional airlines have suspended flights to Sudan after growing civil unrest in the country.

Clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces broke out in the country on Saturday. Saudia halted flights to Khartoum after one of its planes was shot at while preparing to depart from Khartoum airport on Saturday morning.

“All personnel who were on board have made it safely to the embassy. Planes that were on their way to Sudan have returned and all flights to the country have been halted,” the Saudi airline said in a statement.

Emirates has put a stop on its services to the Sudanese capital until April 17 and will continue to monitor the situation closely, according to a representative of the airline.

“Due to the growing situation of civil unrest in the Sudanese capital, Emirates can confirm that all its flights to and from Khartoum are cancelled from 15 to 17 April inclusive. Passengers connecting to Khartoum on these flights will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin.

“Affected passengers should contact their respective travel agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking options. Emirates apologises for any inconvenience caused.”

Sharjah’s Air Arabia has suspended flights until further notice, while flydubai has also blocked bookings on its Khartoum services on March 16 and 17. The airline normally operates a daily service to the Sudanese city.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our passengers’ travel schedules,” said a flydubai representative.

Sudan’s central doctors committee has said at least 56 civilians have been killed and about 600 were injured in the street fighting. Twenty-five people have been killed in the capital Khartoum, the committee said on Sunday morning, including 17 civilians and eight military personnel.

Seven civilians were killed in Bahri, a city north of the capital, while 11 were reported dead in Omdurman.

Courtesy: thenationalnews