AI Express cancels Kuwait flight

Gulf nation slaps a week-long travel ban in the wake of COVID-19 scare

March 07, 2020 08:23 pm | Updated March 08, 2020 07:43 am IST - MALAPPURAM

A section of passengers who reached Calicut International Airport at Karipur on Saturday to board Air India Express’s Kuwait-bound flight were in a shock as the airlines had cancelled the trip.

A section of passengers who reached Calicut International Airport at Karipur on Saturday to board Air India Express’s Kuwait-bound flight were in a shock as the airlines had cancelled the trip.

Air India Express cancelled its budget flight from Calicut International Airport at Karipur to Kuwait on Saturday following a week-long travel ban imposed by the Kuwait government in the wake of the COVID-19 scare.

Air India officials said all their Kuwait flights would be cancelled until further orders.

India was one of the seven countries from where passengers were banned by Kuwait. The other countries are Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

Shocked

A section of passengers who reached Karipur on Saturday morning without being aware of the suspension of flights by the Kuwait government were sent back home by Air India officials. Several of them were in shock as they faced visa expiry threat if they could not return to Kuwait within a few days.

When Air India alerted some of its passengers about the cancellation, many others could not be contacted. Initial confusion and uncertainties soon gave way to patience as the airline and airport officials convinced the passengers at the airport.

Etihad Airways too returned its passengers who were to go to Kuwait via Abu Dhabi.

Last week, Saudi Arabia imposed a ban on Umra pilgrims from all countries across the world causing panic among thousands of passengers from Kerala.

A section of the pilgrims had to be deboarded from the flight at Karipur as the announcement about the ban on Umra passengers came when the boarding was taking place.

Similarly, Oman Air had to deport its Umra passengers while they were in transit at Muscat airport.

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