UAE-based airlines
UAE-based airlines may resume flights to Syria. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: UAE-based airlines may be resuming flights to Damascus, following a statement from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The GCAA said in a statement it is examining the possibility of the UAE’s carriers flying to Damascus, years after their operations to the city were suspended. The move from the GCAA comes as the UAE resumed diplomatic services in Damascus, reopening its embassy there on Thursday.

The Authority did not provide more details on when carriers may be resuming their flights. Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways both told Reuters, however, that they do not have “immediate plans” to restore operations to Damascus.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad said it was “constantly monitoring the situation,” while Dubai-based Emirates told Reuters in a statement that it was monitoring the situation but did not have anything to announce at this time.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said last week that the move to reopen the embassy in Damascus highlights the government’s keenness to restore ties between the two countries to their normal course.

“The UAE’s decision to resume its political and diplomatic work in Damascus comes after a careful reading of developments,” said Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs via his Twitter account.

“It is based on the conviction that the next phase requires Arab presence and communication on the Syrian situation in the interest of Syria, its people, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, requires Arab presence and communication with the Syrian file in the interest of Syria, its people, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”