ABU DHABI, (AFP) — Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national airline, said on Thursday it has suspended flights between Abu Dhabi and Damascus with immediate effect because of the deteriorating security situation in Syria.
“The decision, while not taken lightly, has been made due to the deteriorating security position in Syria,” the airline said.
“The safety of passengers and crew is paramount to the airline,” it said, adding that those passengers affected would be fully refunded for unused tickets.
Etihad said flights to the Syrian capital will remain suspended until further notice. The Etihad website said flights from Abu Dhabi to Beirut in Lebanon neighbouring Syria will continue as normal.
Last month, Royal Jordanian also suspended flights to Damascus and the northern Syrian city of Aleppo following deepening unrest in Jordan’s northern neighbour.
Upwards of 25,000 people have been killed in more than 17 months of brutal conflict in Syria, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Etihad, from its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, flies to passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.