Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of Egyptians stranded in a transit country after Kuwait reduced the number of daily overseas airline passenger arrivals by 80 per cent to 1,000 to manage the spread of a new coronavirus variant, have sought help from Egypt’s Immigration Ministry, local media reported.
In December, the Egyptian Ministry of Immigration solved a similar issue for its citizens, who were stranded in a transit country during their return to Kuwait, bearing the cost of their stay and trips.
The ministry received dozens of complaints from similar travellers due to the postponement of the flights that were to take them to Kuwait following the decision to reduce the number of arrivals.
Kuwait has delayed the second phase of its plan for resuming commercial flights until further notice, keeping the airport’s capacity at 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Kuwait began the first phase of resuming flights in August last year at the reduced capacity, which it had said would last for six months, after which a maximum capacity of 60 per cent was to be allowed.
Sources in the Ministry of Immigration revealed that the ministry’s operations room receives dozens of pleas on a daily basis from Egyptian workers stranded abroad who were preparing to return to Kuwait due to the changes imposed by the Corona pandemic.
The Egyptians’ complaints revolve around the inability of travelers to bear the cost of staying in the transit country after dozens of flights were delayed for between two and four weeks, which means that they need double the sums that they estimated for staying in hotels, food and drinks, and the visas of some of them will not allow them to stay until the date of their flights.
A number of the Egyptians currently staying in Dubai and Sharjah told Al Qabas they have incurred large sums of money for hotel reservations, medical swabs and flights, and they cannot wait for the delayed flights, and some airlines have not notified them of the flight time, and their stays there are about to end and they need to adjust their situation sooner than later.
Egyptians have been using the UAE, Oman and Turkey as transit countries and their Immigration Ministry has provided support to 1,485 stranded Egyptians, whether they wanted to remain in the transit country, travel to Kuwait, or return to Egypt.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman have announced they were suspending or reducing flights, following news that a new strain has appeared in several countries.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait host two of the world’s largest Egyptian expat communities.