File picture used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: AFP

Manama: Kuwait Airways has dismissed reports it had imposed a ban on several nationalities to board its flights and transit through Kuwait International Airport.

“The company would like to clarify that what was published on social networking sites about the ban on the travel of a number of nationalities onboard of Kuwait Airways is completely untrue. The company has not issued such a statement,” Kuwait Airways posted on its Twitter account.

A Kuwaiti daily on Wednesday posted on its website that Kuwait Airways Chairman Yousef Al Jassim said that nine nationalities would be banned from boarding Kuwait Airways planes to transit through Kuwait International Airport.

They may be allowed to transit through Kuwait only after coordination with the interior and foreign affairs ministries.

Al Qabas reported that Al Jassem made the statement during a press conference celebrating the 65th anniversary of Kuwait Airways first flight.

The daily added that security sources said that the ban covers citizens from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Bangladesh and North Korea.

Al Rai daily quoted a security source affirming that any passenger had the right to transit through Kuwait International Airport whether he is flying on Kuwait Airways or any other airline.

“Passengers do not need visas to transit through the airport. The visa is required to enter the country, except for some nationalities,” the source said.

People planning to visit Kuwait should ensure they have visas to enter the country if they need it, and this is a common practice that has been going on for years, the source added.

Under Kuwaiti rules, passengers transiting through the airport need a visa if they are staying for more than 24 hours at the airport.

Kuwait Airways, wholly owned by the government of Kuwait, started its operations in March 1954.