The heads of Arab airlines urged their governments to ease visa restrictions to boost travel within the region, at a meeting in Cairo on the fallout from last month's terror attacks on the United States AFP reported on Saturday October 13.
"We call on the Arab states to facilitate granting entry visas to Arab citizens to enable airlines to organize flights to help face the difficult current conditions," Saudi Arabian Airlines chairman Khaled Bin Bakr said.
The meeting of the executive committee of the Arab Air Transport Union (AATU) also recommended commercial cooperation between Arab airlines and appointed a committee to study the matter, Bin Bakr told a press conference.
EgyptAir chief Mohammed Fahim Rayyan said the committee was "confident" that Arab governments would come to the aid of their national airlines to prevent them from going under after the September 11 hijacked plane attacks on New York and Washington shook the world aviation industry.
The AATU committee groups the heads of EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Lebanon's Middle East Airlines (MEA), Royal Air Maroc of Morocco and Saudi Arabian Airlines, although the Moroccan airline chief could not attend the meeting.
Bin Bakr said the committee had also agreed during the three-hour meeting on a number of security measures to boost passenger safety, although he did not specify what those measures were. The global aviation industry has been shaken since the September 11 attacks, which caused insurance premiums to shoot up for airlines. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )