I happened to be walking in Rome the other day when I passed by a closed SyrianAir ticket office (picture below). That got me thinking, with the current conflict in Syria is the airline still flying and what sanctions if any have been placed upon the flag carrier?
First a little about the airline courtesy of Wikipedia:
Syrian Arab Airlines, operating as SyrianAir, is the flag carrier airline of Syria. It operates scheduled international services to several destinations in Asia, Europe and North Africa, the number of flights operated has seriously declined due to the turmoil in Syria. SyrianAir used to serve over 50 destinations worldwide in recent years. Its main base is Damascus International Airport and Aleppo International Airport. SyrianAir has a fleet of nine passenger aircraft, consisting of six Airbus and ATR. SyrianAir has an order for state of the art Russian Aircraft, however, have been delayed due to the crisis in its home country Syria.
On imposed sanctions courtesy of Airlineroute.net:
Plans were made for the renewal of the fleet with the possible acquisition of several new Airbus aircraft in order to replace the aging Boeing 727 and 747s. These plans were hampered by the reinforcement of a U.S.-led embargo against Syria, and fleet renewal using Russian equipment was being reconsidered. By 2012, Syrian Air had retired all its old Boeing 747,727 and Tupolev aircraft, leaving SyrianAir with just 8 aircraft in its fleet, 2 ATR’s and 6 Airbus A320’s. On 23 July 2012, as the Syrian conflict continued the European Union imposed a new wave of sanctions on Syria, which included sanctions on SyrianAir. The sanctions meant that the airline cannot make flights to the EU, or buy any new aircraft which contain European parts. As a result Syrian Air was forced to suspend all its operations to the EU. The company is discussing a lawsuit against European countries since Syrian Airlines “did not violate any laws nor did it jeopardize safety”. However EU ministers justified the sanctions on the airline because the company “provides financial and logistical support for the Syrian government”
..and canceled routes courtesy of Wiki:
On 23 July 2012, in the wake of the Syrian civil war, the European Union imposed a new wave of sanctions on Syria. As a result, Syrian Air was forced to suspend the following European destinations: Austria Vienna – Vienna International Airport Belgium Brussels – Brussels Airport Denmark Copenhagen – Copenhagen Airport Cyprus Larnaca – Larnaca International Airport France Paris – Orly Airport Germany Berlin – Schönefeld Airport Frankfurt – Frankfurt Airport Greece Athens – Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport Italy Milan – Malpensa Airport Rome – Leonardo da Vinci Airport Netherlands Amsterdam – Schiphol Airport Romania Bucharest – Henri Coandă International Airport Spain Madrid – Barajas Airport Sweden Stockholm – Arlanda Airport Switzerland Zurich [temporarily suspended] Turkey Istanbul – Sabiha Gokcen Airport United Kingdom London – London Heathrow Airport
The official website is a good reminder of what the US carrier sites looked like 15 years ago and includes no online booking options at all. There are lots of spelling mistakes and several interesting tidbits:
Shipping the body of a Syrian citizen who dies abroad
Under the Decree No. 5266/11/4 issued on 12/09/2002, a body is shipped from abroad to Syria for free if the following conditions are met
a.The death occurred due to natural causes or an attack not related to any terrorist activities.
b. The presentation of a document at the embassy identifying that he/she is a Syrian citizen.
c. The companions of the body book and reserve their tickets exclusively on SyrianAir and on their own expenses.
d. This decree comes into action as of 04/09/2002.
The fleet page, includes descriptions for the B747SP and B727, both labeled as the “quietest cabins in the sky”.
…there’s even a frequent flyer page
For a fun read, definitely check out this press release – “new fleet and new prospect”. It’s one of my favorites from the site (literally a Word document that they uploaded as a PDF).