Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways give 50,000 free tickets to COVID-19 frontline workers

The tickets can be used to fly to any destination within its network. (File/AFP)
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Updated 03 June 2020

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways give 50,000 free tickets to COVID-19 frontline workers

  • The airline will distribute 50,000 free tickets to workers across Kuwait as a thank you gift
  • The tickets will be valid until the end of 2021

DUBAI: Kuwaiti airline Jazeera Airways is rewarding frontline workers who played an active role in the fight against the coronavirus with round-trip tickets state news agency KUNA reported.
The airline will distribute 50,000 free tickets to workers across Kuwait as a thank you gift for their continued efforts during the pandemic.
“We are honored to follow the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah… to the government to reward our fellow frontline workers for their efforts to prioritize the safety of our people in the fight against the pandemic,” the airline’s chairman, Marwan Boodai, said in a statement.
The tickets will be valid until the end of 2021, and can be used to fly to any destination within its network.
To qualify, people have to be nominated and approved by the government.


Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

Updated 01 October 2020

Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

  • Captured gang tells of route to Yemen through base in Somalia

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: A captured gang of arms smugglers has revealed how Iran supplies weapons to Houthi militias in Yemen through a base in Somalia.

The Houthis exploit poverty in Yemen to recruit fishermen as weapons smugglers, and send fighters to Iran for military training under cover of “humanitarian” flights from Yemen to Oman, the gang said.

The four smugglers have been interrogated since May, when they were arrested with a cache of weapons in Bab Al-Mandab, the strategic strait joining the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

In video footage broadcast on Yemeni TV, gang leader Alwan Fotaini, a fisherman from Hodeidah, admits he was recruited by the Houthis in 2015. His recruiter, a smuggler called Ahmed Halas, told him he and other fishermen would be based in the Somali coastal city of Berbera, from where they would transport weapons and fuel to the Houthis. 

In late 2015, Fotaini traveled to Sanaa and met a Houthi smuggler called Ibrahim Hassam Halwan, known as Abu Khalel, who would be his contact in Iran. 

This is a complex network that requires constant monitoring, hence the focus on maritime security.

Dr. Theodore Karasik, Security analyst

Pretending to be relatives of wounded fighters, Fotaini, Abu Khalel, and another smuggler called Najeeb Suleiman boarded a humanitarian flight to Oman, and then flew to Iran. They were taken to the port city of Bandar Abbas, where they received training on using GPS, camouflage, steering vessels and maintaining engines.

“We stayed in Bandar Abbas for a month as they were preparing an arms shipment that we would be transporting to Yemen,” Fotaini said.

On Fotaini’s first smuggling mission, his job was to act as a decoy for another boat carrying Iranian weapons to the Houthis. “The plan was for us to call the other boat to change course if anyone intercepted our boat,” he said.

He was then sent to Mahra in Yemen to await new arms shipments. The Houthis sent him data for a location at sea, where he and other smugglers met Abu Khalel with a boat laden with weapons from Iran, which were delivered to the Houthis.

Security analyst Dr. Theodore Karasik said long-standing trade ties between Yemen and Somalia made arms smuggling difficult to stop. “This is a complex network that requires constant monitoring, hence the focus on maritime security,” Karasik, a senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics in Washington, DC, told Arab News.

“The smuggling routes are along traditional lines of communication that intermix with other maritime commerce. The temptation to look the other way is sometimes strong, so sharp attention is required to break these chains.”