KSA bans Mahan Airlines from using its airspace

Updated 06 April 2016

KSA bans Mahan Airlines from using its airspace

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has banned Iranian Mahan Airlines Company, an affiliate of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, from using its airspace and airports as of Monday.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) ordered the termination of permits formerly granted to the company and, accordingly, banned its aircraft from landing at the Kingdom’s airports or crossing its airspace.
“Within the follow-up of the performance of foreign air carriers operating in the Kingdom, the GACA monitored a number of violations committed by Iranian Mahan Company against national regulations and relevant laws breaching the safety of international aircraft operators in the Kingdom which necessitated the termination of permits granted to the Iranian company,” the GACA statement said. The decision comes within the GACA’s mandate to ensure the lives and safety of passengers based on Article 163 of the Kingdom’s Civil Aviation System, which stipulates the suspension of permits for a limited period or final withdrawal, the statement said.
Mahan Airlines Company was established in 1992 in Karman Province, southern Iran, as a private company, but the majority of its shares are owned by a charitable company affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
In October 2011, the US Treasury announced that Mahan Airlines Company was cooperating with the Quds Brigade, the foreign arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. In this context, US officials confirmed that Mahan Airlines Company transported Iranian militia and weapons to the Quds Brigade in Iraq and Syria.
US officials say the airline normally withholds profiles of its crew, who are recruited from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, in order to conceal missions assigned to the company by the Revolutionary Guards, as most of the Iranian weaponry and equipment provided to the Assad regime are transported by Mahan Airlines.
Following the Houthi coup and their control over the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, Mahan Airlines Company and Yemen Airlines signed an agreement, thus allowing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to establish an air bridge between Tehran and Sanaa. Opponents have accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of assisting the Houthi militia under the pretext of delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen.
Shortly after the start of the “Decisive Storm” operation in support of the legitimacy in Yemen, Mahan Airlines Company tried to fly to Sanaa but Saudi-led coalition warplanes forced the plane to return. Later, Saudi airplanes bombed Sanaa’s airport runway to prevent Mahan Airline planes from landing.
Despite the signing of the nuclear deal with Western countries and cancellation of most of the sanctions on Iran, the ban is still in force on the airline.


Saudi Arabia health care summit to accelerate global COVID-19 fight

Updated 34 min 59 sec ago

Saudi Arabia health care summit to accelerate global COVID-19 fight

  • Representatives from the World Health Organization, UK National Health Service, IBM and many other industry leaders to speak at online event.
  • The ‘Riyadh Declaration’ will provide a roadmap for using digital innovations to fight this pandemic and those of the future.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will this month host one of the world’s largest health care summits that aims to unite global efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The event will bring together health care leaders and innovators from across the world to foster new collaborations and discuss the vital role of digital health in fighting pandemics.

Taking place online on Aug. 11-12, the Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit (RGDHS) will host directors from the World Health Organization and the UK’s National Health Service, IBM’s chief health officer, and Australia’s deputy chief medical officer.

The event’s flagship talk will be hosted by the Kingdom’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfig Al-Rabiah, and will introduce the “Riyadh Declaration” — a roadmap for accelerating digital health innovations to fight the current and future pandemics.

Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy, president of the RGDHS, said the event was far more than a health care conference.

“It is a global digital platform bringing together people who have the ability to work collaboratively to accelerate our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Health care professionals must now seize this opportunity to build on previous strides forward in digital health.”