Kuwait approves Indian repatriation flights

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Kuwait has approved an Indian request to operate flights to repatriate its expatriates wishing to return home amid a ban on air travel imposed by Kuwait on dozens of countries, including India, Al Qabas newspaper reported.

Kuwait’s Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) agreed to the flights starting from August 10 until October 24. According to the DGCA approval, 1,000 Indians will leave Kuwait daily, to be flown equally by Kuwaiti and Indian airlines.

Indians account for almost 1 million of Kuwait’s 4.7 million population.

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“The arrangements proposed by the Indian side are limited to departure only and do not include their return to Kuwait,” the source said. “The decision to ban entry of travellers from 31 countries to Kuwait is still in effect.”

Earlier this week, Kuwait announced suspending flights from 31 “high-risk” countries on instructions from Kuwaiti health authorities due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

These include India, Pakistan, Egypt, and the Philippines, all of whom have sizeable communities in Kuwait.

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The travel ban, which took immediate effect, was announced hours after the Kuwait International Airport partially reopened on Saturday for commercial flights after a halt of nearly five months.

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