Syria Reopens Aleppo Airport after Eight-Year Closure

Feb. 19, 2020

Damascus (dpa) - A plane operated by Syria's national carrier landed on Wednesday in Aleppo's airport, marking the reopening of the facility after an eight-year closure, the state Syrian news agency SANA reported.

Syrian government forces, supported by allied Russian forces, announced their capture of the countryside around Aleppo from rebels earlier this week, in the north of the war-torn country

On Wednesday, a Syrian Air flight arrived in Aleppo International Airport coming from the capital Damascus, SANA said without details.

Transport Minister Ali Hammoud told accompanying journalists aboard the plane that the airport's reopening was a "big victory."

Flights to Cairo and Damascus are planned in the coming days, according to the Syrian Transport Ministry.

In 2017, the ministry announced the resumption of operations at Aleppo's airport, but those were called off after the facility was shelled by rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Aleppo airport, Syria's second-largest after Damascus International Airport, has a capacity of 1.7 million passengers annually, according to official estimates.

A Syrian government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Syrian, Iranian and Russian carriers would be the primary users of Aleppo's airport for now.


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