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Mon 6 Apr 2015 01:16 PM

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Sandstorms impact hundreds of flights in Saudi Arabia

Three days of poor to no visibility cause airlines to cancel one-third of flights, delay hundreds more

Sandstorms impact hundreds of flights in Saudi Arabia
Images of the Sandstorm in Riyadh

Sandstorms forced Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) to cancel 465 flights, or one-third of its schedule, in recent days, according to the Saudi Gazette.

Another 678 services were delayed and 19 were re-routed. At least 94 unscheduled flights were made in a bid to make up for the lost services.

Significantly, the cancellations included all flights to Riyadh on April 1.

The disruptions also led Saudia to recall some pilots and cabin crew from leave, with other staff members stranded in cities that were not their base.

Other airlines also were forced to cancel 183 flights and 734 were delayed throughout the kingdom, the General Authority of Civil Aviation said.

Saudia said all tickets would be honoured and passengers could use them at a later date.

Sandstorms swept across much of the Gulf late last week, causing poor to no visibility.

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