Kuwait lockdown: Airport to close, all commercial flights in and out banned

Published: 12 March 2020 - 5 a.m.

Kuwait International Airport will close indefinitely tomorrow and all commercial flights in and out of the country have been halted in a set of drastic measures by Kuwait’s ministers to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The closure of the airport is an almost unprecedented response to the virus outbreak and will accompany a two-week official holiday starting today, designed to prevent the spread.

According to reports, cargo flights and some charter services are being permitted to fly into the country allowing Kuwaiti nationals to get home from abroad.

Non-Kuwaitis are being allowed to transit through the airport to onward connecting destinations.

The closure means all commercial Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways flights have stopped operating from the country.

The airport is home to Jazeera Airways’ own Terminal 5, which has helped the carrier to become one of the most competitive budget airlines in the Middle East region.

Its profits last year were up by a record 124% to nearly $49 million, supported by a surge in passenger numbers.

In a statement, Jazeera Airways said: “We understand the uncertainty for passengers created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Therefore, we are offering passengers additional flexibility when amending their bookings.”

Kuwait International Airport takes and dispatches almost 500 flights a day and serves 16 million passengers each year.

So far Kuwait has seen 72 coronavirus cases.

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