British Airways has today suspended flights to Saudi Arabia because of “heightened security concerns in the region”.
The suspension, until further notice, followed discussions earlier today between the airline and the UK Department for Transport.
BA’s safety and security director Geoff Want, said, “As a matter of precaution we have decided to suspend all flights to Saudi Arabia for the time being and we will continue to liaise closely with the British government.”
BA normally operates four flights a week to Riyadh and four a week to Jeddah.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “There is credible intelligence of a serious threat to UK aviation interests in Saudi Arabia.”
There are about 30,000 Britons in Saudi Arabia at any one time – most of them residents who are working there.
The Foreign Office said today: “We shall be drawing the British Airways announcement to the attention of the British community in Saudi Arabia through the warden network we have out there.”
The Foreign Office added that it did not intend to change its current advice about travel to Saudi Arabia. This already advises against all but essential travel to the Middle East country.
Two bomb attacks in Riyadh on May 12 killed more than 30 people and injured nearly 100 others.
The Foreign Office said that further large or small scale attacks against Western interests in Saudi Arabia remain likely.