FlyDuba which ran a lucrative 4-times a week flights to and from Hargeisa’s Egal International Airport has been abruptly suspended beginning with a mid-flight cancellation of a scheduled flight to Hargeisa Thursday.

According to the official carrier page, al cancellations and suspension of flights were due to the fear of Coronavirus pandemic which gripped the world paralyzing almost all facets of international interaction, economy and transportation plans.

“We continue to monitor the situation relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. flydubai follows the directives issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the local health authorities. We will continue to work closely with our airport and airline partners to ensure that all safety measures are in place and in line with international standards,” it said.

The airline management issuea a travel advisory affecting over three dozen countries, including: ArmeniaAzerbaijanBahrainBangladeshCroatiaCzech RepublicEritreaEgyptFinlandGeorgiaIndiaIraqItalyJordanKazakhstanKuwaitKyrgyzstanLebanonMyanmarNepalOmanRomaniaRussiaSaudi ArabiaSerbiaSri LankaSudanTajikistanThailandTurkeyTurkmenistanUgandaUkraineUzbekistan and United Arab Emirates.

The Republic of Somaliland was not on this initial list.

However, on Thursday, 19 March, the airline updated its alert by  suspending flights to a country the Emirates maintained very close relations despite the envious protests of a Mogadishu which pretended it had a say-so in the 30-year Republic’s affairs.

The alert came in the following form:

Flight cancellations

Saudi Arabia: Following a directive from the authorities in Saudi Arabia, flydubai flights to and from Saudi Arabia have been cancelled until 31 March.

Iran: flydubai flights to the Iranian cities of Esfahan, Lar, Mashhad, Shiraz and Tehran have been temporarily suspended following a directive from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Bahrain: Following a directive from the authorities in Bahrain, flydubai flights to and from Bahrain have been cancelled until 31 March.

Kuwait: Following a directive from the authorities in Kuwait, flydubai flights to and from Kuwait will be cancelled between 14 and 19 March.

Italy: flydubai flights to and from Catania have been cancelled from 15 March to 20 May.

flydubai flights to and from Naples have been cancelled from 14 March to 21 May.

Slovakia: Following a directive from the authorities in Slovakia, flydubai flights from and to Bratislava have been cancelled between 13 and 27 March.

Poland: Following a directive from the authorities in Poland, flydubai flights from and to Krakow have been cancelled  between 15 and 28 March.

South Sudan: flydubai flights from and to Juba have been temporarily suspended from 14 March.

Djibouti: Following a directive from the authorities in Djibouti, flydubai flights from and to Djibouti have been suspended from 18 March.

Jordan: Following a directive from the authorities in Jordan, flydubai flights from and to Amman have been suspended from 17 March.

Iraq: Following a directive from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), flydubai flights from and to Iraq have been suspended from 17 March.

Lebanon: Following a directive from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), flydubai flights from and to Beirut have been suspended from 17 March.

Turkey: Following a directive from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), flydubai flights from and to Istanbul have been suspended from 17 March.

Azerbaijan: Following a directive from the authorities in Azerbaijan, flydubai flights from and to Baku have been suspended from 18 March.

India: Following a directive from the authorities in India, flydubai flights to and from India will be cancelled between 17 and 31 March.

Ukraine: Following a directive from the authorities in Ukraine, flydubai flights from and to Ukraine have been suspended from 17 March.

Egypt: Following a directive from the authorities in Egypt, flydubai flights to and from Alexandria will be cancelled between 19 and 31 March.

Sudan: Following a directive from the authorities in Sudan, flydubai flights from and to Sudan have been suspended from 17 March.

North Macedonia: flydubai flights from and to Skopje have been temporarily suspended from 17 March.

Sri Lanka: flydubai flights to and from Sri Lanka have been cancelled from 19 March to 25 March.

Czech Republic: flydubai flights from and to Prague have been suspended from 18 March.

Somaliland: flydubai flights from and to Hargeisa have been suspended from 19 March.

Finland: flydubai flights from and to Helsinki have been cancelled from 22 March to 31 March.

Uzbekistan: flydubai flights from and to Uzbekistan have been cancelled until 30 March.

Russia: Following a directive from the authorities in Russia, flydubai flights from and to Russia have been suspended from 20 March.

Turkmenistan: flydubai flights from and to Ashgabat have been temporarily suspended.

Pakistan: Flights from and to Pakistan have been temporarily suspended from 21 March to 31 March.

Somalia False Claims

Capitalizing on the change of plans of the airline, Somalia, Thursday, loudly celebrated a false victory. Villa Somalia and its media campaigners claimed that, complying with a Somalia flight ban, FlyDubai stopped flights to Somaliland.

A possible explanation to Somalia’s claim could be a result of a ban to Somalia-originated flights which Somaliland enforced from 19 March.

Somaliland’s COVID-19 Combat Committee banned flights from 8 countries which included. The UAE and Ethiopia were exempted.

Somalia Takeover of Somaliland Airspace

Somalia, however, has taken full control of Somaliland airspace in mid-2018 using diplomacy and pressure on ICAO which administered Somalia/Somaliland airspace since the collapse of the central government in 1991.

Somaliland bungled opportunities and stood by while Mogadishu dictated operations in direct violation of a clause signed by Presidents Ahmed Siilaanyo  of Somaliland and Hassn Sheikh (Somalia) in December 2014 calling for a joint management of the shared airspace as was embodied in the Istanbul II Communique.

Instead, the incumbent Aviation Director, Ex-flight pilot, Captain Abdi Mohamed Rodol, seemed to be happy with the Somalia arrangement appearing to observers as if he totally supported a Somalia domination and dictation.

For the first time in the political tug-of-war between the ill-matched, erstwhile partners of Somalia and Somaliland, Captain Rodol kowtowed to the Somalia Aviation Minister agreeing with his views, calling him ‘His Excellency the Minister’.

Since then, his and that of the government of Somaliland’s credibility on issue has been on the wane reaching a stage where the ex-captain could not even hold on to staff trained for a number of Somaliland aviation departments forcing them to seek employment in Puntland of Somalia.

As a result, not a great many were that surprised of the Somalia claim that it threatened punitive action  against FlyDubai on March 19 citing WHO directives and its unchecked, vindictive plans against Somaliland.

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