Saudia, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, suspended all direct flights to Toronto (Canada) on August 7, 2018. The move comes after Canada’s government called for release of activists detained in the Gulf country.

Direct flight suspension is one of several measures taken against the Northern American nation for what the kingdom describes as "interference" in the internal affairs of the Saudis. Canada claims it is defending human rights.

According to the United Nations Organization, at least 15 defenders of human rights and women's rights have been arbitrarily detained in Saudi Arabia since May 15, 2018.

Other measures by Saudi Arabia include declaring Canadian ambassador in Riyadh a persona non grata and freezing business plans with Canada.

Twitter account of a youth organization related to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia published a tweet reading "he who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him" and the image of a B767 from Air Canada descending against the CN Tower in Toronto . The photo was later removed and the group issued an apology.

 

The trade between both countries amounted to $3 billion in 2016.