By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has reached a tentative service agreement for flights between Kuwait and India. Kuwait Times has viewed and verified a letter of acceptance for temporary service agreements between the two countries that would allow flights to resume from August until October with a capacity of 500 seats per day for Kuwaiti airlines. The letter is dated July 30, 2020.

Kuwait Times earlier reported that the two countries had agreed to the establishment of a 'transport bubble' that would allow a resumption of flights. However, a final agreement and implementation of the plan has not yet been reached. According to the proposal, the specific seat capacities per day for the national carriers of Kuwait starting from August 10, 2020 until October 24, 2020 will be 300 seats for Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and 200 seats for Jazeera Airways.

According to Yousef Al-Fouzan, Director General of DGCA, Kuwait is still waiting to receive the approval from India for this plan. "We are also waiting for the Indian civil aviation to provide the seat capacities per day for the Indian carriers that will operate to/from Kuwait International Airport," he told Kuwait Times.

Commercial flights resumed at Kuwait International Airport (departures and arrivals) on Aug 1, with a total operational capacity of 30 percent and a maximum number of passengers at 10,000 (both arrivals and departures). According to the government's reopening plan, this is phase 1 for commercial flights and should last until Jan 31, 2020, at which point the airport will enter phase 2 with a 50 percent capacity of operations.

There are an estimated 16,000 Indian nationals stranded in Kuwait, who availed of a general amnesty in April but have been stuck here after India closed its airspace. An additional 100,000 Indian citizens are expected to travel home once flights resume.