Saudi Arabia on Monday launched its first direct flights from Jeddah to the city of Erbil in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.
Director of the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority Saleh bin Nasser was aboard the flight and was welcomed by a host of Kurdish regional officials, including interior minister Karim Sinjari and tourism minister Nawrouz Mouloud.
“Three flights will be launched weekly between Erbil and Saudi Arabia,” Talal Faiq, the director of the Erbil International Airport, told a press conference.
She said the flights will help bolster trade relations between the Kurdish region and the oil-rich kingdom and facilitate the movement of pilgrims to and from the holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
Erbil is the second destination in Iraq for Saudi flights after Baghdad.