Shut down on commercial flights has been a boon for private jet services. Kuwaitis are taking to it in style, despite rates firming up. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Demand for private charter flights is soaring in Kuwait, with Cairo, Turkey and Beirut being the preferred destinations. There is also take up among those Kuwaitis wanting to return from the US, London, Dubai and Iran.

Mohammad Al Bashir of World Traveler said his company received a request from Kuwaiti citizens wishing to return from Houston, Texas, on a flight carrying five passengers and costing about $180,000. Flights operated for similar services from Dubai and Turkey cost about 6,000 dinars ($19,500), and reaching 15,000 dinars ($48,500) from Turkey. “The cost increases proportionally to the number of passengers and the flight distance.)

Demand is on a high

There are about 1,500 requests for group trips from residents of different nationalities to be on such flights, including 16 Egyptians who wanted a private plane to fly them to Cairo. Another request was recorded for 250 people to travel to Beirut, and more than 100 Jordanians wanting to be back in Amman.

“The trips are subject to the approval of the civil aviation authorities in Kuwait and the other country to which the flight operates,” said Al Bashir. It is after this that the price of the ticket is determined and collected from clients.

The return flights are also subject to conditions set by health authorities for COVID-19 tests and quarantine for crew, which also increases the cost of operations.

“Suspension of commercial air traffic services and the desire of many citizens and residents to travel from or to Kuwait raised the demand for such trips,” said Al Bashir. “It is the only option available.”