Egypt has commenced operating special flights through the Omani capital Muscat to bring back Egyptian stranded in Qatar.
The repatriation move came following reports of pressing needs to evacuate Egyptians stranded in Qatar due to growing concerns about how the Gulf state is handling the coronavirus pandemic.
The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Saturday June, 13, 2020, that about 3000 stranded Egyptians in Qatar would first be transited from Doha to Oman and later flown from Omani capital Muscat to Cairo International Airport, using around 18 EgyptAir and Air Cairo flights.
The statement included that all Egyptians stranded in Qatar would be considered including those with expired visas and those who wish to return to Egypt due to the COVID-19.
Egypt’s Ministry of Immigration and Expatriates Affairs Manila Makram said issues of Egyptians stranded in Qatar would be taken seriously and considerably.
“There is a plan currently in action to repatriate Egyptians stranded there in cooperation with friendly countries, which will receive the Egyptian expats, and then they will return to Egypt where via Egyptian airliners. All the details will be announced as soon as such procedures are complete,” said Makram.
Government’s resolution to have transit flights via Oman answered the question of whether the evacuation of Egyptians stranded in Qatar would be via Oman, Jordan or Kuwait, according EgyptAir Holding Chairman and CEO Roshdy Zakaria
He added that the national flag carrier fleet would soon resume local and international flights upon government’s approval, when studies must be completed on discounts on flight tickets.
There were videos making rounds on social media sites of Hundreds of Egyptian workers in Qatar, calling on Egyptian authorities to allow them return to Egypt due to the COVID-19 situation in the Gulf state.
The videos were posted following allegations that Cairo did not responsively yield to their call for evacuation back to Egypt.
In the same vein, there was a recent report of thousands of Indians in Qatar who wanted to leave the Gulf nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak among Asia workers, resulting from the alleged government’s negligence at the beginning of the crisis.
Egypt announced a halt in civil flights in and out of all its airports on 19 March, 2020, but excluded freight flights, medical flights, charter flights for tourists to allow them return to their countries of origin due to the COVID-19 pandemic.