Picture : where to go now, Syrian travelers ask,
The Air transport association IATA has seized work with its billing settlement plan BSP with Syrian Arab airlines, IATA said in a fax sent to travel agents in Syria that "Canada foreign affairs and internal trade announced amendments to the special economic measure on Syria. The amendments impact IATA's ability to provide financial services to, from or for the benefit of any person affiliated with the Syrian Arab Republic. Therefore IATA ha suspended Syrian Arab airlines from all BSP operation. "
This means according to Asa'ad Shamout, A travel agent in Damascus, that it will virtually impossible to book Syrian Air tickets abroad in addition to making the travel choices for Syrians rather limited and difficult.
The BSP allows different airlines to send customers on other airlines and settling the finances between different airlines later, the system gives flexibility in booking and general management of day to day operations of airlines.
The already struggling Syrian Air is not the biggest loser in this situation because the increase in internal flights might compensate but on the long run the work of the company internally is threatened. However, the biggest loser remains the ordinary Syrian person who is facing growing challenges because of sanctions.
Though Western governments say that these sanction are aimed at the government, fact suggest otherwise because they are affecting daily lives of Syrians.
We contacted the Canadian embassy in Damascus who said they cannot comment on the subject and that legal details can be found at the foreign ministry.
Canada has recently imposed new sanctions on Syria, yet excluding a Canadian gas company operating in Syria, "They want our money and oil but won't let us fly, this is hypocrisy" Said Ahmad Aizat,a young man who taking a training course in BSP to find a job as a travel agent and now is jobless. "I have paid fifty thousand pounds for the course, a complete waste"