Egyptian citizens queue at Kuwait International Airport before boarding a repatriation flight to Cairo, in Kuwait City on May 5, 2020. AFP
Cairo and Marsa Alam airports received a number of special flights on Tuesday that were transporting home 921 Egyptians who had been stranded abroad in various parts of the world for several weeks, in the wake of the widespread suspension of flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two special EgyptAir flights coming from Kuwait carrying almost 600 passengers arrived at Cairo International Airport on Tuesday, Al-Ahram Arabic reported.
The first flight, carrying 298 people, arrived in the afternoon, while the other arrived in the evening, carrying 298 passengers too.
All the returnees from Kuwait will stay under quarantine areas at repurposed university dorms in Cairo, as per the health ministry’s recommendations.
The Tuesday arrivals are the first to come from Kuwait since Sunday, when a group of Egyptian workers protested at a shelter for those who have violated the Gulf country’s residency law, demanding repatriation.
Marsa Alam International Airport received a special AirCairo air flight coming from both Dar es Salam in Tanzania and Khartoum, Sudan, carrying 174 Egyptian passengers.
Another EgyptAir flight also arrived in the Red Sea city on Tuesday, bringing 151 Egyptian passengers from Iraqi capital Baghdad.
All the passengers were transferred to designated quarantine hotels in Marsa Alam, where they will be lodged for 14 days.
The cabinet has said the state will cover the cost of those staying at university dorms, while those who want to spend their quarantine period at designated hotels in Marsa Alam will have to pay for their stay.
Egypt is set to operate several flights in the coming days to return more stranded nationals.
“Priority for Egyptians returning from abroad will be given to humanitarian cases, followed by those with expired residences or terminated contracts, then those with a final exit visa and tourists,” Information Minister Osama Heikal said on Tuesday.