Kuwait international airport to resume commercial flights

Kuwait International Airport suspended operations for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 31 July 2020

Kuwait international airport to resume commercial flights

DUBAI: Kuwait’s international airport will resume commercial flights to 20 countries from August 1 in a three-stage re-opening, five months after it suspended operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Flights will initially cover 8 countries in the Middle East, including the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Lebanon; six in Europe, including the UK, Germany and Switzerland; five in Asia, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and the Philippines; and to Ethiopia as the lone African destination, Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.

The government’s three-stage re-opening took into account the importance of adhering to preventive and precautionary health measures to protect travelers as well as airport staff, state news agency KUNA said.

Each phase of restarting commercial flights will take six months.

The first phase, which starts Saturday, will have Kuwait International Airport operating at 30 percent capacity – meaning it will handle no more than 10,000 passengers and 100 flights a day.

The airport on second stage, which starts February 2021, will increase its capacity to 60 percent and will handle a maximum 20,000 passengers and 200 flights per day. The airport will then shift to full operations by August.

Protocols put into place would include random check for arrivals, submission of travel requirements for destination countries, strict online or phone booking for ticket reservations and mandatory health insurance coverage for citizens to cover the treatment of coronavirus infections.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.