Kuwait Airways Eyes August Service Resumption

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Flag carrier for the Middle Eastern nation of Kuwait, Kuwait Airways, has announced its plan to resume commercial passenger operations beginning August 1st. This service resumption will mark the end of a four and a half month suspension of regular passenger services.

Kuwait Airways Getty Images
While Kuwait Airways hasn’t been operating regular passenger services, some of the airline’s jets have been busy operating repatriation flights. Photo: Getty Images

Starting at around 30% of operations

According to Gulf News, the Kuwaiti Council of Ministers has approved a three-stage plan to operate commercial flights from and to Kuwait beginning on August 1st. The first phase of this resumption will see air traffic capped at 20-30% of full capacity.

In the second phase, Kuwait International Airport will increase its activity to 60% of normal. However, the specific timeframe for this is unknown and largely depends on the epidemiological progress with the coronavirus.

Kuwait Airways Flights Sarajevo
Kuwait’s long-haul operations have mostly been utilizing the Boeing 777. Photo: Getty Images

Strict airport measures

Arab News adds that airport authorities will implement strict measures for travelers taking to the skies. This will include safeguards such as thermal cameras, enforcing social distancing, strategic seating within aircraft, and revised foot-traffic patterns within Kuwait’s airport’s various terminals.

As early as April, entrance into Kuwait airport required a temperature scan.

The coronavirus situation in Kuwait became serious in late March and April. The country has still been seeing hundreds of new cases every day. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Working through the lockdown

Even though Kuwait Airways is resuming regular operations starting August, the carrier has been working steadily through the last few months of the pandemic. In fact, the airline has been flying ex-pats to their home countries due to the suspension of various businesses and activities in the country.

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During this period, the airline’s Boeing 777s were sent to corners of the world not usually covered by the airline in its normal commercial operations.

On June 5th, 300 doctors and nurses from the Republic of Cuba were flown into Kuwait to assist in the battle against COVID-19. The flight was operating as KU1630 and departed Havana just after midnight on June 5th and had a total flight time of nearly 13 and a half hours. Kuwait normally has zero destinations in Latin America, with New York City as the only destination in the western hemisphere.

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KU1630
A flight tracker view of the journey between Havana and Kuwait. Photo: FlightAware

Kuwait Airways doesn’t normally have service to West Africa (or much of Sub-Saharan Africa at all) either. However, in an effort to repatriate citizens of several West African nations, Kuwait Airways had arranged a special flight on May 23rd to transport 334 passengers to the region.

The journey was split into three flights, first flying from Kuwait to Accra (Ghana), then from Accra (Ghana) to Lome (Togo) and finally, from Lome (Togo) to back to Kuwait.

If you live in the region, are you looking forward to Kuwait Airways and other middle eastern carriers resuming services? Do you feel like its safe to travel again? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment!

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