First International Flight for 15 Years Leaves Chechnya

World | November 17, 2009, Tuesday // 08:29
First International Flight for 15 Years Leaves Chechnya: First International Flight for 15 Years Leaves Chechnya The Boeing 757 left with 200 pilgrims travelling to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia. Photo by nytimes.com

The first international flight to leave conflict-hit Chechnya in 15 years has taken off from the airport in Grozny.

The Boeing 757 left with 200 pilgrims travelling to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported.

The flight was seen off at the airport by Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

An official statement said seven aircraft would carry 2 000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, and regular international flights would begin soon.

"Today's event is a big success for our people," Kadyrov said.

He paid tribute to those who had made a difficult journey from other parts of the region to reach Grozny for the flight.

Kadyrov said he hoped the resumption of international flights would boost Chechnya's economy.

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Tags: Chechnya, international flight, Saudi Arabia, pilgrims, Grozny Airport
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