Gulf states prepare for passenger flights resumption amid coronavirus pandemic

UAE’s Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced it will operate two new Airbus A321neo aircraft and offer six routes from Abu Dhabi starting Oct. 1 of 2020. (WAM)
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Updated 13 July 2020

Gulf states prepare for passenger flights resumption amid coronavirus pandemic

  • Wizz Air Abu Dhabi's tickets can be bought through wizzair.com as well as its mobile app, with fares starting at $35
  • Kuwait prepares to resume its commercial flights in August

DUBAI: Bahrain said all travelers arriving in its international airport will be required to pay the cost of their mandatory coronavirus testing at $80 starting July 21, state news agency BNA reported.
The health ministry said the country’s citizens and residents will still be entitled to free coronavirus medical treatment in line with international standards.
Travelers will get the option to pay in advance via the ‘BeAware Bahrain’ mobile app to ease the payment process. Cash payments will also be accepted.
The decision excludes cabin crew, diplomatic or other official travelers and those arriving from medical travel from paying. Transit passengers, according to the health ministry, will not be required to test for COVID-19 or quarantine.
Meanwhile UAE’s Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced it will operate two new Airbus A321neo aircraft and offer six routes from Abu Dhabi starting Oct. 1 of 2020, state news agency WAM reported.
Tickets can be bought through the airline’s website wizzair.com as well as its mobile app, with fares starting at $35.
The airline will also activate its Arabic website and mobile app to allow Arabs to book tickets online.
Meanwhile, Kuwait prepares to resume its commercial flights in August, state news agency KUNA reported. Both ministries of service affairs and national assembly affairs said it is important to provide necessary high-quality services to travelers in all terminals.


Lebanon information minister quits in first government resignation over blast

Updated 48 min 17 sec ago

Lebanon information minister quits in first government resignation over blast

  • Manal Abdel-Samad apologizes to the Lebanese public for failing them
  • Explosion killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s information minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday quit in the first government resignation since a deadly port blast killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital.

“After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,” she said in a statement carried by local media, apologizing to the Lebanese public for failing them.

The head of Lebanon’s Maronite church meanwhile called on the entire government to step down over the August 4 explosion, a blast widely seen as shocking proof of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.

Lebanese protesters enraged by the blast vowed to rally again after a night of street clashes in which they stormed several ministries.

Maronite patriarch Beshara Rai joined the chorus of people pressing Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet to step down over a blast he said could be “described as a crime against humanity.”

“It is not enough for a lawmaker to resign here or a minister to resign there,” Rai said in a Sunday sermon.

“It is necessary, out of sensitivity to the feelings of the Lebanese and the immense responsibility required, for the entire government to resign, because it is incapable of moving the country forward.”

Rai echoed calls by Diab for early parliamentary polls — a long-standing demand of a protest movement that began in October, demanding the removal of a political class deemed inept and corrupt.

He also joined world leaders, international organizations and the angry Lebanese public by pressing for an international probe into an explosion authorities say was triggered by a fire in a port warehouse, where a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate had languished for years.

President Michel Aoun on Friday rejected calls for an international investigation, which he said would “dilute the truth.”

At least six lawmakers have quit since the explosion.

Under increased pressure from the street and foreign partners exasperated by the leadership’s inability to enact reforms, Diab’s government is fraying at the edges.