Direct flights begin to India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

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‘Arrivals remain on hold’

KUWAIT CITY, May 18: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved the resumption of direct outgoing flights to five banned countries – India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from Tuesday, May 18, but decided to continue to ban on incoming passenger flights from these five countries, reports Al-Anba daily. According to reliable sources, the approval was issued to facilitate the travel of residents of these nationalities, which was hindered due to the decision to suspend commercial flights to those countries. Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways, in addition to the airlines of those countries, will operate the flights.

DGCA is currently awaiting the issuance of new directives from the Cabinet regarding the removal of some countries from the list of banned countries, in preparation for the resumption of direct flights to them. The sources chose not to disclose the names of those countries until an official decision is issued regarding them. They said DGCA recently discussed the resumption of flights during the summer season to new destinations in Turkey, such as Bodrum and Trabzon, as well as flights to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. They indicated that the flight movements to most of these destinations will be implemented as of June after obtaining the official approvals, adding that some of them will resume during the current month. Regarding the implementation of the decision to increase the number of passengers coming to the country from May 22, the sources said DGCA is still working on determining the number of passengers on each incoming flight, taking into account the removal of any country from the list of banned countries, where the travel density increases, knowing that the trips of domestic workers are excluded from that number.

Meanwhile, even though some government agencies have started depositing bonuses for excellent performance into the accounts of their employees, these bonuses contribute to a legal and administrative crisis in some government agencies, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources. They indicated that they expect the mechanism for disbursing excellent performance bonuses in some government agencies, which decided not to disburse them to those exempted from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020, will create problems.

The sources explained that some government agencies have already started depositing the bonuses in the bank accounts of their employees except for those exempted based on the decision issued by these authorities. Some parties may enter into the cycle of grievances and administrative complaints because of these bonuses, based on the guidelines issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) regarding the policies, procedures and rules for gradual return to work in government agencies. CSC had specified the mechanism of flexible working hours in the authorities, according to the stages of the plan for return to normal life, as specified in the categories of those exempted from working hours.

The guide explicitly states that, “The exemption does not cancel any financial or administrative benefits for employees, as exemption days are considered as actual working days.” The decisions to exclude those exempted from the payment of bonuses issued by some parties bear the suspicion of a legal violation, as they are retroactive. The sources indicated that most of these bodies asked CSC about the possibility of canceling the bonuses for those exempted from work.

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