EgyptAir to operate five flights on Tuesday to repatriate Egyptians from three Arab countries
Ahram Online, , Tuesday 19 May 2020
The flagship airline will operate three flights from Abu Dhabi and two flights from Amman and Jeddah

EgyptAir will operate on Tuesday five flights to repatriate nationals from three Arab states, state-run news agency MENA reported, as the country pushes ahead with efforts to bring stranded Egyptians home amid the coronavirus crisis.

The flagship airline will operate three flights from Abu Dhabi and two flights from Amman and Jeddah.

The Abu Dhabi flights are set to land at Cairo International Airport and the flights from Jordan and Saudi Arabia will land in Marsa Alam, a Red Sea resort city selected by authorities to house Egyptian returnees quarantined at designated hotels.

An informed source at the civil aviation ministry said medical checkups will be conducted for all returnees at both airports. They will later be put in 14-day quarantine.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said last week that authorities were hoping to repatriate all nationals stuck abroad before the Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, which is set to begin on 24 May. He expected the number of repatriated nationals to exceed 16,000 by that time.

The government is requiring returnees to sign before boarding their flights a written acknowledgement that they agree to be quarantined.

Egyptians willing to spend their quarantine period at designated hotels mostly cover the cost of their stay, estimated at a minimum of EGP 10,500 ($666.7), despite a previous decision by the state to cover the cost of the stay.

The government is now only covering the cost of those quarantined at university hostels.

Egypt began repatriating its citizens in March after it grounded all international flights as part of sweeping measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The country has continued to operate domestic trips and cargo flights.

Egypt has repatriated around 12,000 stranded Egyptians from different countries since late April, a source from the aviation ministry told Al-Ahram last week.