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SYRIA (THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1941. IT COVERS AN AREA OF 185,180 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 17.2 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS DAMASCUS, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS ARABIC.
April 2014: Kinda Airlines ((IATA) Code: KJA, based at Damascus) (KJA) has postponed its planned launch date from April 1 to May 1 citing paperwork issues. Airline Vice Commercial Manager, Esmail Sharaf, told the "Reuters" news agency that using an A320-200 (29, JY-JAC), and a 737-400 (27826, JY-JAQ), leased from Jordan Aviation ((IATA) Code: R5, based at Amman Queen Alia) (JOR), initial services will operate from Damascus to Latakia with 10 other destinations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Iraq, and even Lebanon and Jordan to come within the year.
Sharaf underscored the safety of operating out of Damascus, despite the ongoing civil war which has now entered its 3rd year. However, the imposition of international sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's regime has taken its toll. "(Sanctions are) making it very, very difficult. Hopefully we have passed through all these difficulties," Sharaf said.
Backed by 3 local investors, Kinda Airlines (KJA) is only the 2nd start-up to challenge the Syrianair ((IATA) Code: RB, based at Damascus) (SYR) monopoly. Following the liberalization of the Syrian air industry in 2008, Syrian Pearl Airlines ((IATA) Code: PI, based at Damascus) was founded as the country's 2nd national carrier only to go bust 3 months later when lessor OrionAir (Spain) ((ICAO) Code: ORI, based at Valencia Manises) pulled out due to USA sanctions.