KUWAIT: This photo released by Kuwait Airways shows top company officials meeting to discuss preparations to evacuate stranded nationals from around the world.

KUWAIT: Kuwait's Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that the national carrier Kuwait Airways and the private Al-Jazeera Airways will operate 75 flights to sixteen airports worldwide to evacuate stranded nationals. In statements to the press, DGCA spokesman Saad Al-Otaibi said the flights, which will start today, make up the first phase of a five-phase plan to repatriate nationals from abroad after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

He pointed out that the first stage, to last three days, includes flights to Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Manama, Doha, Muscat, Cairo, Alexandria, Amman, London, Istanbul, Ankara, Geneva and Paris. Last week, the Kuwaiti cabinet adopted a phased process to bring back Kuwaiti citizens abroad. The plan envisaged five phases:

First would be due on April 19-20 covering Kuwaitis who completed medical treatment abroad along with their companions, also tourists or those who were on official assignments. The second stage (April 23) covers patients who need medical beds and life support equipment. The third one (April 25-May 1) for students, the fourth (May 3-4) for diplomats and the fifth (May 6-7) for other segments. - KUNA