KUWAIT: Kuwait's Directorate General of the Civil Aviation (DGCA) has denied setting a date for resuming direct commercial flights with Egypt and India. In a press statement late Tuesday, Director of the DGCA's Air Transport Department Abdullah Al-Rajhi said that the directorate is still preparing operation plans according to the current seat limits. He added that no permissions were given to any airline to operate direct flights with the six countries with which the Cabinet has recently agreed on re-operating direct flights.

Once the operation plans are completed, the DGCA will announce the official date of resuming flights with these countries, he said. The Cabinet gave green light to the DGCA for relaunching commercial flights with Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on August 18 after the six countries were restricted in light of COVID-19 restrictions. It underlined that flights with these countries would be subject to measures identified by Kuwait's ministerial coronavirus emergency committee.

The decision to resume direct flights was taken on recommendation by the coronavirus ministerial committee following a sharp drop in the number of new cases and the number of patients. The DGCA also recalled that immunized passengers are those who have received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca and one dose of Johnson and Johnson.

Those who have received two doses of unapproved vaccines abroad - Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V - must receive and additional dose of one of the four approved vaccines. Those who have been vaccinated in Kuwait can prove vaccination through Immune or Kuwait Mobile ID applications or Kuwait Mosafer platform, the DGCA said.

Those who have been fully vaccinated outside Kuwait can prove vaccination by producing a certificate with name identical to one in passport, type of vaccine and dates, vaccination authority and the QR code. If the QR code is not available, the vaccination certificate should be uploaded to the health ministry website for authentication. Non-immunized domestic workers can be recruited through registration in the Belsalamah platform, the civil aviation said.

In the meantime, the DGCA has reportedly asked the council of ministers to increase the number of arriving passengers above the currently allowed 7,500 because of the expected influx of expats into the country following the resumption of direct flights with the six countries.