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Saturday , January 23 2021

Suspension of flights from 31 countries to hit the travel sector badly

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 4: Following the decision by Kuwait to ban flights to and from 31 countries, there has been a state of confusion in the travel and tourism agencies, as the decision will lead them to record huge losses that they will not be able to bear, reports Al-Rai daily.

According to officials in the travel sector, the decision was ill-considered, and came in reaction to campaigns launched on social media without conducting an in-depth study.

They stressed that the decision will affect about 100,000 travelers in Kuwait in the month of August.

In this regard, an official source from the aviation sector expressed surprise at the unacceptable and unprecedented confusion in opening Kuwait International Airport and the resumption of commercial activities, due to the decision to prevent flights from 31 countries to Kuwait during the current period.

He said he believes there are some who want to weaken the air transportation market – which includes airlines, travel agencies, software companies and airport operators – with premeditation without any attention to the needs of people.

The source warned about significant negative repercussions on the world of economy and business due to such decisions.

He said he believes dealing with the COVID-19 virus is easier than dealing with the chaos of improvised decisions.

The source stressed that he wonders why this happens only in Kuwait while some Gulf airports are open and working in a smooth and easy manner.

He added that he wonders when Kuwait will learn the art of crisis management, lamenting the mass migration of businessmen to other Gulf countries.

The source stressed that Kuwait’s situation can be considered as a rare case in the aviation world, criticizing the lack of learning from the chaos that occurred inside the airport at the beginning of the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Al-Kharafi International Company for Travel and Tourism Rami Bader Asaad explained that the travel agencies in Kuwait opened their doors about a week ago and started working on reservations and provision of travel packages to reduce the pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the decision to ban flights from 31 countries, including Egypt and Lebanon, came as a blow to the travel and tourism agencies in the local market after they were closed for about four to five months.

The decision caused a great state of confusion and prompted expatriates to cancel or reconsider their decision to travel, for fear of losing the option of returning to Kuwait in the future.

On his part, the CEO of the ticketing office Abdul Rahman Al-Kharafi affirmed that the decision constitutes a catastrophe for the tourism and travel agencies in the local market, especially since it came more than 90 days after talks about resuming commercial activities in the airport.

He stressed that it has resulted in a precedent that was never recorded before with some planes returning while in air to the airport from where they took off.

Criticizing the sudden manner in which the decision was taken, Al-Kharafi said the losses are distributed among airline companies, travel agencies, and travelers.

He said he expects the impact of the decision to affect about 100,000 tickets if it continues throughout the month of August, stressing the need for the concerned authorities to compensate for the losses faced by all parties due to the decision.

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