Kuwait International Airport in Farwaniya Governorate. Image Credit: Reuters file

Dubai: Hygiene concerns at Kuwait International Airport have resurfaced amidst allegations of neglect, as the cleaning contract of the airport’s Terminal T1 has expired.

The crisis comes at the height of the summer vacation and a period of significant congestion at the airport.

The cleaning company responsible for maintaining the airport’s hygiene standards threatened to withdraw its services and machinery due to the expired contract and unsettled financial dues.

The company also claimed it had not received any communication regarding the contract’s extension. The contract expired on July 25.

According to official correspondence, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had proposed extending the contract at a cost of KD805,000 ($2.67 million) in January.

However, the approval is still pending from the relevant agencies. The non-renewal of the cleaning contract amidst the busy travel season and open-skies policy has drawn criticism from the operating agencies, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive plan to ensure service delivery at the airport.

The cleaning company, in its letters to the DGCA, expressed concern over unpaid invoices and discounts imposed on the cleaning contract.

It emphasised that it had not been notified of any contract extension and hinted at a complete withdrawal from the site.

The company urged the DGCA to settle dues without deductions and officially approve the offer and contract extension. It underscored its readiness to continue providing services, contingent on the complete payment of dues and no deductions.

It clarified that its previous price offer was not an implicit agreement to extend the contract, and the continuation of services depended on the airport management meeting its conditions.

In a letter submitted on July 18, the cleaning company addressed the issue of site handover and equipment withdrawal due to the lack of contract extension.

It urged the DGCA to facilitate the withdrawal process and ensure prompt settlement of their dues.

The company also noted that, as of June 1, 2023, it stopped renewing the residence permits of workers assigned to the airport contract and started registering them for other government contracts.

This move is in preparation for a possible evacuation and site handover, if the due invoices remain unpaid and the contract is not legally renewed.