Saudia Suspends Canadian Flights Following Diplomatic Spat

Filed Under: Saudia

Well that escalated very quickly…

Canada and Saudi Arabia have gotten into a diplomatic spat. Last week Canada expressed concern about new arrests that have taken place in Saudi Arabia, targeted at women’s rights activists. Canada urged the immediate release of all peaceful human rights activists.

Saudi Arabia was very unhappy with this, and told Canada to mind their own business. They immediately expelled Canada’s ambassador to the country, and halted all trade and investments with Canada in response to this.

While this isn’t directly from the government, perhaps the most dramatic aspect of all of this is what a Saudi Twitter account Tweeted earlier today (this has since been deleted — not just the Tweet, but the account on the whole).

They Tweeted the following:

“As the Arabic saying goes: He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him #SaudiArabia #Canada”

Below that is a picture of an Air Canada plane headed towards the Toronto skyline.

Look, I want to assume they couldn’t possibly mean what this looks like (which is just unconscionable), but I’m not sure how else to interpret this, especially in light of the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens.

The graphic has since been reposted without the picture of the Air Canada plane on Instagram.

So, what is @infographic_ksa? They were a verified Twitter account with over 350,000 followers. They describe themselves as “a voluntary non-profit project managed by a group of Saudi youth who are interested in technology and social media.”

Everyone has to decide for themselves how much of a connection there is between this group and the government, but given that Saudi Arabia isn’t exactly the world’s biggest proponent of free speech, many assume that on some level they’re speaking for the government.

As part of the escalating tensions, Saudia has announced that they’ll be suspending flights to Toronto as of August 13, 2018, which is their only route to Canada.

Saudi Arabia is also canceling scholarships for 12,000 students in Canada, and is making plans to transfer those students to other countries (which seems like quite a project).

I’ll be curious to see how long this situation lasts. Given the other “disputes” going on in the Middle East, I imagine this will likely last a while. It’s not like Canada is going to start opposing free speech and apologize, and at the same time I don’t see Saudi Arabia giving in.

Comments
  1. Not to worry. Trudeau will apologize soon. As for Saudia flights being stopped, who really in Canada cares. Canada, if it is concerned about the not so surprising threat (reference the plane flying to Toronto skyline), it should welcome the break in relations as the Saudis have revealed themselves for what they are: Agents of terror. The only ones in Canada who care are those who sell to the Saudis, and who are a mere fraction of the populations. It’s the business community which would gladly sacrifice Toronto for another sale, greed. Also, ask Qatar how friendly their neighbor is.

  2. Saudia Arabia should have been labelled a state that sponsors terrorism after 9/11, as you mentioned 19 of the attackers were from there.

    Canada has always stood up for human rights something Saudia Arabia clearly has a problem with.

    #TeamCanada

  3. What an unfortunate situation… at the end of the day the customer will be the one that gets truly screwed by all of this

  4. Sad politics has to be brought into the discussion. Can we move on there has to be something interesting to write about

  5. They know trump will suck dick for money. No not just donald, any of the trumps will.

    That’s why the US doesn’t have Canada’s back.

  6. Good I hate Saudi Arabia. It is unconscionable how the US continues to support and arm the KSA (the worst dictatorship on the globe currently-aside from North Korea). They finance and support radical terror groups and then jail innocent human rights activists. Just shameful.

    Lucky, I know you are not political, but I urge you to cease flying Saudia or visiting the KSA.

  7. One way to interpret the picture is a hostile reference regarding 911

    My guess: it was simply a “Canadian go home” reference, (especially given the ultimatum for the ambassador to leave within 24 hours) which was taken down once people fully understood the alternative 911 meaning

    That said:
    The sooner we can remove Saudi Arabia from our “ally” list, the better

    They are and always have been our mortal enemies
    Too bad our rich and connected live them

  8. The Saudi governemnt should be held accountable for that disturbing image.
    It’s inferance is hostile and provocative should have immediate diplomatic consequences.
    This really indicates the Saudis were behind the 911 horror.

  9. So what’s happening to passengers booked on Saudia flights to YYZ? Are they being rebooked on other airlines?

  10. Good for Canada.Too many countries, including the USA have allowed the Saudis to act with impunity in all sorts of areas for too long

  11. #teamCanada Even if out President does not know history and blames them for burning down the White House.

  12. @Matt – From your tone and venom you come across as clueless and uninformed, period. You wrote “It is unconscionable how the US continues to support and arm the KSA (the worst dictatorship on the globe currently-aside from North Korea). They finance and support radical terror groups and then jail innocent human rights activists. Just shameful”. THIS applies to the United States and history has shown this to be true!

    Take heart since you are not alone. The USA, UK and many other nations are the bigger terrorists, but the sheeple like yourself are sooooooo asleep at the wheel to see this.

    Most do not even know what the true reality is, because many cannot see this.

    To say you “hate”. sums it up!

    If people need to get to Saudia they can take EK (oh look at that) EK just announced an increase of flights to Canada the other day. Surely just a coincidence the sheeple barh!

  13. Lets see, one country just started to let their women drive, has no human rights, publicly beheads dissidents and no one goes there for university because it is a backwards theocracy.

    One is Canada.

    Hmm, which side to take?

  14. President Obama once said “the world needs more Canada.” Well, it looks like we’ve delivered on his suggestion, doesn’t it? I’m feeling proud at the moment.

  15. As a Saudi, I really do not support Saudi, and I am ashamed of my own country, but I feel a lot of the people who support this change are just stupid, Saudi Arabia has control of a lot of the oil industry and it might ruin the campaign oil market if this gets worse, as for me, I love Canada, Vancouver is my fave city ever, and I just feel slightly pissed because we don’t kneo if Canada will be another country we won’t be able to visit even with visas

  16. Feel sorry for the Saudi students summoned home in August from Toronto and other Canadian cities. I spent the afternoon with one crying on my shoulder. The Saudi Crown Prince has once again made a blunder and might once again have to be humiliated by a reversal by his father the King.

  17. Canada will send trump to negotiate and say that it was a slip of the tongue meant to be a double negative “urge the Saudi authorities NOT to NOT immediately release”…

    Wait, Canada is now an enemy.

    Not a problem, if that fails trump will ask his boss President Putin for new directions.

  18. Would be nice if the Trump administration or any prior white house in the US would step up and put saudi arabia in its place. They are not our friends nor have they ever been.

  19. It would be awesome if the shitty Saudi king was taken to the us for trial for all the horrible things he has done. (like killing innocent people)

  20. It most definitely is very concerning seeing what are essentially government sanctioned media streams put out such horrific messages. Its unthinkable that the US continues to support terrorist sponsoring states Saudi, UAE and Egypt (which ironically are where the 9/11 attackers were from).

    The very same countries that are warmongering and killing people in the tens of thousands in Yemen, while also trying to attempt to bully and choke hold smaller countries (Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan) for wanting to promote women rights, pluralism and democracy, all unthinkable ideologies for totalitarianism states.

  21. @Bill NAAAAH he’d rather swing ceremonial swords and pose with a glowing orb with the Saudis.

  22. KSA are so histrionic and melodramatic (as well as SOME of their neighbours) . However they dont bat an eye for the thousands cholera deads in Yemen…
    And as other readers say this is not about politics but honesty to overall human beings.
    On my side thanks Canada …

  23. Ups new news, KSA is going to build channels to isolate Canadá from América continent… It seems they might have help from someone around 🙂

  24. Iv – The hijackers being from Saudi Arabia doesn’t remotely mean Saudi Arabia is a state sponsor of terrorism… (Though they do appear to be elsewhere). They clearly wouldn’t have planned an attack on the US.

    Nor does Canada stand up for human rights any more strongly than many others. Though it’s about time the West started standing up for them without worrying about economic consequences etc.

  25. Bill – Saudi Arabia is a close friend of the US, I assume the main reason you think they aren’t is because they are Muslim?

    They certainly shouldn’t be as they’re prolific human rights abusers (perhaps that’s what attracts Trump to them?), but they are.

  26. Hi Lucky, Im booked from Pakistan to Canada on Saudia for September but I havent received any update on my ticket. I checked on the website and the ticket is still showing as valid. In case my flight gets cancelled, what options do I have? I bought a very cheap ticket (almost half the cost of EK/EY) so is it possible they reroute me instead of altogether refunding my ticket?

    Would appreciate if you could help me with this!

  27. It was also reported that the UAE supports the Saudi stance. Perhaps the Trudeau government, which recently permitted Emirates and Etihad to increase their frequency to YYZ to 5 each per week, can tell the UAE government that the agreement is done — with the flights to be replaced by Qatar Airways, whose little country is now under a Saudi-led, UAE-supported blockade.

    Good riddance.

  28. Good for SA, screw Canada. Canadiens boycotting USA..? they can stick it. Nice place 3 months of the year, frozen wasteland rest of the year.
    Canada prides themselves on being ‘friendly’…I worked for Canadien energy company 20 yrs ago, all execs/ managers complete jerks, fakes. Character very questionable…
    Thank goodness don’t work for them anymore…
    SA def not a model of freedom or human rights, but Canada has no place telling others what to do…

  29. “Good I hate Saudi Arabia. It is unconscionable how the US continues to support and arm the KSA (the worst dictatorship on the globe currently-aside from North Korea). They finance and support radical terror groups and then jail innocent human rights activists. Just shameful.”

    I don’t think you’re understanding the reality of the situation. Saudi Arabia counterbalances Iran, which is a much larger threat to world peace. As we move further away form dependence upon foreign oil, there really is no other reason to support the Saudis. They treat women like crap, they treat foreign workers like crap, they don’t believe in equality in any form, and they support terrorism behind the scenes, sometimes no so behind the scenes. However, until the threat of a nuclear armed Iran asserting hegemony over the Middle East subsides, the West will use Saudi Arabia as a convenient and useful counterbalance. Its like the old saying, “the enemy of my enemy…”

    Now, do I hope that Saudi Arabia changes? Yes. Do I applaud and support Canada’s actions? Double yes! But, so no confuse US support for Saudi Arabia with a support of their backwards, medieval social and religious policies. They are a tool against the imams, nothing more.

  30. 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia yet our Dear Leader won’t include them in the Travel Ban even though he cares about terrorism so very, very much.

  31. Funny, that Arabic proverb is awfully similar to the Syldavian proverb: “Danger awaits the one who dares to poke his nose in others’ affairs”. I don’t think the warning will work on Canada anymore than it did on Tintin. #ottakarssceptre

  32. Saudi Arabia. Besides Israel, the only ‘friends’ left for Donald John Trump after he pissed off the rest of his former allies.

  33. Listen up, Pierre Trudeau’s son is a completely useless leftie. On a visit to Canada last year, my family sat in on PM Questions in Ottawa, he is bloody clueless, dodged every question because he is as thick as two short planks, only thing going for him is the girls like his bimbo looks. Maybe this is why he wants to free these women, so he can have more girlies gawking at him.

  34. Canada ought to ban Saudia from their airspace based on the “national security concerns” prompted by that photo. Have fun burning fuel to get to America without overflying Newfoundland.

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