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KUWAIT CITY, June 23: After two consecutive years of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first flights of pilgrims to the House of Allah in Makkah for this year will depart from Kuwait International Airport on July 3, reports Al-Qabas daily. In a press statement, Director General of the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) Yousef Al-Fawzan announced an integrated plan to deal with the current pilgrimage season. He revealed that the scheduling of 20 flights, and an additional one, to transport about 5,622 pilgrims to the holy land has been completed”.
Al-Fawzan explained that DGCA held several meetings with the authorities operating at the airport and other related parties, and discussed ways for simplifying the procedures for the pilgrims and passengers during the season and the Eid al-Adha holidays. DGCA has completed its preparations for the current pilgrimage with a set of terms and controls in order to facilitate the procedures for the movement of pilgrims.
The operational arrangements for pilgrims’ flights and their departure timings from the country have been made, in proportion to the numbers. The departure and arrival of pilgrims will be through three terminal buildings – T4, T5 and T1 – in order to prevent overcrowding, and through four companies – Kuwait Airways, Saudi Airlines, Jazeera Airways and flynas.
The quotas and seats for pilgrims were distributed to the airlines in accordance with the policy of DGCA and in a manner that serves the air transport market in the country and the pilgrims, and achieves fairness among companies. Al-Fawzan confirmed that the plans that DGCA will implement include “the Hajj Expedition Offices will receive the pilgrims’ bags and bring them to the airport, instead of the pilgrim himself, so that the latter comes to the airport and goes directly to the passports area without going through the baggage weighing hall to avoid any delay”.
He said, “This procedure also applies upon return to the country. The Hajj Expedition Offices will receive the bags and distribute them to the pilgrims at the office headquarters. Support staff will be provided by all the authorities operating at the airport, and will be distributed to the departure and arrival halls and the corridor leading to the parking lots. Also, additional counters at the airport will be provided for operating agencies to ensure the comfort and convenience of pilgrims, which contributes to the completion of travel procedures easily”.
Al-Fawzan affirmed the keenness of DGCA to provide all logistical services to the pilgrims by allocating field work teams to serve them in six stations starting with car parks, passing through the airport hall, the passport area and the transit area, and then boarding.