Bookings done at varied costs
KUWAIT CITY, May 17: Kuwait these days is witnessing a growing demand for private flights by citizens and residents who wish to travel to Cairo, Beirut and Turkey.
Also, there are requests by some who wish to return from the United States of America, London, Dubai and Iran on small aircraft that can accommodate less than 15 passengers per flight.
These are being booked at varied costs depending on the proximity of the destination, with the cost of each trip ranging between KD 6,000 and KD 55,000 especially for returnees from the USA.
In fact, during the partial lockdown, flights to and from Kuwait were being operated by private aircraft. Data in this regard reveal there are requests from residents for private flights of small aircraft that can accommodate up to 20 passengers to Cairo.
Also, there is a list of 1,500 residents who are seeking to travel through charter flights to Beirut, Jordan and Cairo, with prices reaching about KD 1,000 per ticket and the cost being distributed equally to them.
In this regard, the General Manager of World Traveler Company Mohamed Al-Bashir said the tourism and travel market witnessed requests from citizens wishing to travel to nearby destinations on private aircraft as well as other requests to return from the USA to Kuwait directly for a limited number of passengers, along with daily requests from residents who wish to leave Kuwait.
He explained that the door for booking flights on private planes would be opened to receive requests from those who wish to make the trip, determine their numbers, and then solicit the price offer from the company that will undertake the transportation, after which a deal will be struck with the client.
Al-Bashir stated that his company received requests from citizens wishing to return from the USA particularly the State of Houston, on a trip carrying five people which would cost about $180,000. He revealed that his company also received requests from citizens wishing to return from Dubai and Turkey which would cost about KD 6,000 dinars for nearby destinations in Gulf countries, and up to KD 15,000 for Turkey, adding that the cost varies based on the number of passengers and the distance of the journey.
Al-Bashir stressed that the provision of private flights is a system that has been in place for a while now, adding that there are companies specialized in this matter. He indicated that his company provides flights via agents in Dubai, Russia and America, and using aircraft of various sizes.
Al-Bashir explained that the stopping of air traffic and the desire of many citizens and residents to leave or return have increased the demand for such trips, as it is the only option currently available. The market received requests from citizens to travel on private aircraft to both Turkey and Cairo for holiday with a limited number of travelers of up to ten passengers.
The past 48 hours witnessed two special trips arranged for about 18 citizens who returned from the USA – the first with 13 passengers and the second with five citizens.
The same is happening with London. Also, there is a request to return a family from Iran. There are about 1,500 requests to provide group trips for residents of different nationalities based on lists, including 1,000 Egyptian residents who registered to travel through those trips, as well as 16 Egyptians who requested a special flight on a private plane to take them to their country.
Travel requests were received from 250 people who want to return to Beirut and from more than 100 Jordanians who want to go to Amman. Al-Bashir said the aircraft used for private flights are determined by their size and capacity based on the number of reservations for each destination and the distance to the destination, after which the ticket price for a trip is determined.
He indicated that the trips are subject to approval of the civil aviation authorities in Kuwait and the destination country in the event of the departure of the residents, adding that the price of the ticket is determined accurately after this, followed by collecting the amount from the clients and issuing tickets for them.
Al-Bashir stressed that return flights are also subjected to the conditions set by the health authorities for examinations and quarantine. In addition, Al-Bashir revealed that the demand for private flights to and from Europe is very high at present; however, the cost of such flights are high due to increased health requirements, as the companies that rent these planes place their crew under quarantine after the flights, which means they will not work for 14 days