A plane operated by Syria’s national carrier on Wednesday landed in Aleppo’s airport, marking the reopening of the facility after an eight-year closure, the state Syrian news agency SANA reported.
Syrian government forces, supported by allied Russian forces, announced their capture of the countryside around Aleppo from rebels earlier this week, in the north of the war-torn country.
“On Wednesday, a Syrian Air flight arrived in Aleppo International Airport coming from the capital Damascus,’’ SANA said without details.
Transport Minister Ali Hammoud told accompanying newsmen aboard the plane that the airport’s reopening was a “big victory.”
According to the Syrian Transport Ministry, flights to Cairo and Damascus are planned in the coming days.
In 2017, the ministry announced the resumption of operations at Aleppo’s airport, however those were called off after the facility was shelled by rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to official estimates, Aleppo airport, Syria’s second-largest after Damascus International Airport, has a capacity of 1.7 million passengers annually.
A Syrian government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, alleged that Syrian, Iranian and Russian carriers would be the primary users of Aleppo’s airport for now.