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Thai Airways International restart commercial flights to Saudi

After more than three decades of suspension, Thai Airways International will restart commercial flights to Saudi Arabia next month on the back of improving relations between Thailand and the Middle East country.

THAI chief commercial officer Nond Kalinta said on Tuesday that the first flight in 32 years will depart for Jeddah on Aug 19.

The carrier will operate four flights a week to Jeddah, with flight TG503 departing Bangkok at 6.45pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and the return flight, TG504, departing Jeddah at 12.40am local time on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Monday.

The route to Saudi Arabia was suspended 32 years ago due to sour relations between the two countries. The resumption of the route took place after Thailand and Saudi Arabia restored full diplomatic relations in January.

Acting chief executive officer Suvadhana Sibunruang said the flights would promote tourism and other business opportunities for the two countries.

The return of the airline’s commercial flights to Saudi Arabia was slightly delayed from its original date set for May.

Saudi Arabian Airlines touched down in Thailand for the first time in 32 years on Feb 28 when a flight from Riyadh landed at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Although the two countries had no commercial air links for more than three decades, Saudi Arabia allowed charter flights for Thai pilgrims to the Haj.

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