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352,000 Kuwaitis, expats expected to spend Eid holidays outside Kuwait

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Dubai, Istanbul among most favored travel destinations

KUWAIT CITY, April 23: The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is gearing up for the Eid Al-Fitr holidays with a number of new measures aimed at facilitating movement at the airport during the 10-day Eid Al-Fitr holidays when according to statistics about 352,000 people are expected to use the Kuwait International Airport, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to the statistics on the movement of passengers and aircraft expected from Kuwait International Airport during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays from April 28 to May 7, about 60% of the total passenger traffic will be outbound, believed to be about 208 thousand on 1,400 flights compared to 144,000 inbound passengers on same number of flights.

The statistics show the most favored travel destinations during the holidays are Dubai, Istanbul, Sabiha, Trabzon, Bodrum, Jeddah, Cairo and Doha. In this regard, sources told the daily the Eid holidays coincide with the start of the summer travel season for airlines operating at the airport, which will start at the beginning of next May, which increases and doubles the responsibilities of the agencies operating at the airport to provide comfort for travelers and facilitate the smooth flow of their departure and return to the country. The sources indicated that the summer and Eid season this year will witness crowding and intensity at times, due to the increasing demand for citizens and residents to spend their vacations outside the country after the decline of the Corona epidemic and the easing of strict travel restrictions.

Readiness
The sources explained the operational sectors in the DGCA will raise the degree of readiness to deal with the movement of traffic during the holidays and the summer season in general. The sources stated that the DGCA has adopted a comprehensive plan aimed to regulate the movement of passengers at the airport by doubling the number of employees at the gates, in the transit area, and in the departure and arrival halls. The DGCA sources explained work teams have been formed by the operation departments to create support chain and work in tandem with other operating devices at the airport, and to overcome all obstacles that may face outbound passengers.

She added that the reception and departure halls and accompanying services have been equipped to ensure the speedy completion of work, as well as coordination with customs and the Ministry of the Interior to shorten entry and departure procedures, and to operate additional “counters” at peak times. The sources indicated that the distribution of passengers to the airport buildings, starting with the main building T1, in addition to the two buildings of Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways, will contribute to easing pressure and congestion. Meanwhile various tourism and travel offices compete to entice target customers, through various means and social media in particular.

As a way of achieving more profits, the travel and tourism offices follow a system called “charter”, which is that the tourism and travel office buys a certain number of places on a plane for any country that the office deems that it will have a strong turnout at a certain time, at a price lower than the one at which it will be sold, although expected to bring in 40 percent profit, can at times be risky. Sources working in the tourism and travel sector confirmed to Al- Qabas that the demand for travel during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday is great, and airline and hotel reservations record the highest rates after the Corona pandemic and the return of life to normal. The sources expected an increase in the number of travelers from 20-30% over last year, especially that many travelers extended their vacations beyond the Eid holiday by two weeks and to the end of the month, especially for students who continue to study online, and there are schools whose academic year will end after Eid.

Ayman Zindah, the Director- General of the Salhia Office of Tourism and Travel, said that the prices of return tickets after the last day of the holiday drop 20% of their value due to the availability of seats, while First Class and Business Class are fully booked

Reservations
He added that despite the fact that a number of travelers and reservation holders had bad experiences with booking through various websites, there is still demand and an improvement in demand for reservations via the Internet, but through the main known sites, pointing out that what happened is the cancellations of flight reservations which were made by the airlines, not the website, without warning and the daya of those websites were not modified, which put them in trouble with the reservation holders, but now the situation is better and these websites have rearranged their affairs with the airlines.

The Tourist Director of the Luxury Travel Company, Muhammad Al-Zalabani, revealed that among the most prominent destinations that citizens chose to travel during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, are the European countries especially London, France, Italy and Munich, as well as Dubai, the Maldives and Turkey, along with Georgia, Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh and Jordan. He explained that the choice of destinations is determined on certain grounds, in the past, the choice was made on the cheapest and least strict countries in terms of health procedures and conditions, which were imposed on travelers.

As for the choice during the current travel season, it is represented in countries with moderate weather and various tourist places. 5 measures to facilitate the movement of passengers — doubling the number of employees at the gates and transit areas; supporting work teams to overcome obstacles facing travelers; providing reception and departure halls and accompanying services; shortening the arrival and departure procedures for the Ministry of the Interior and Customs and operation of additional counters at peak times. 5 tips for travelers — ensuring that the government requirements related to travel to the countries to be visited are implemented; a valid entry visa that allows entry to the country you have chosen to visit; keep travel documents such as receipt and travel tickets to preserve all your rights; reducing depositors and recipients to prevent crowding and not confuse the airport’s work and refer to the airport controller on duty for civil aviation when a problem occurs.

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