Fighting in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, has resulted in the destruction of at least 14 aircraft, according to satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies. The ongoing conflict, involves clashes between the army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Force (RSF). Both sides claim to have control of important parts of the capital, including the airport.
Satellite imagery collected this morning (April 17, 2023) over #Khartoum, #Sudan, shows damage from the ongoing fighting between rival Sudanese military factions. Seen here is Khartoum International Airport where at least 14 airplanes have been destroyed & many others damaged. pic.twitter.com/eIr50SL6sm
— Maxar Technologies (@Maxar) April 17, 2023
Qatar Airways announced on Monday the temporary suspension of its flights to Sudan. Airlines are also avoiding the country’s airspace. On Saturday, At Khartoum Airport, flights from Egyptair, Badr Airlines and Tarco from Cairo, Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa, Saudia, Flyadeal, Flynas and Tarco from Jeddah, Air Arabia from Abu Dhabi and Flynas, among others, were canceled due to the suspension of operations on Monday morning and Tarco from Dammam.
Qatar Airways flights from Doha and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul were scheduled for the evening. Emirates Airbus A380 coming from São Paulo had first taken the normal route towards Sudan on its way to Dubai, but then turned southeast and stopped in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. As of Sunday, flight EK262 immediately took a different route that avoids Sudanese airspace.
Six civilian planes have been confirmed to be destroyed, including an Airbus A330-300 from Saudia and a Boeing 737-800 from the Ukrainian Sky Up. Saudia confirmed that the airline’s Airbus A330 was involved in “an accident” in Khartoum. There are also reports of the destruction of an Embraer 135 operated by Sudan’s Tarco Air and two Ilyushin Il-76s.
The conflict at Khartoum Airport has led to concerns over the safety and security of air travel in the region.