PAL quits Kuwait route
Philippine Airlines will end its Manila-Kuwait service this May according the latest timetable information.
The airline called the closure a “temporary suspension” due to low demand for the route, the flag stated on its Facebook page at the weekend.
It said the ongoing slowdown in travel by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait has made flights to the Middle East country economically unsustainable.
The airline said despite low demand for the route, it had maintained flights to Kuwait to help repatriate distressed OFWs following a high-profile murder case.
PAL said that with the repatriation efforts now complete, it was suspending flights to the Middle East country until market conditions on the route improved or the ban on Filipino workers visiting Kuwait for work was lifted by the Philippines’ government.
PAL will continue to offer flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
On the Kuwait route the airline will continue to offer a four-weekly service up until 15 May out of Manila and 16 May out of Kuwait City.
Flights depart Manila 2330 and arrive in Kuwait City 0500 using a A330-300 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, according to Airlineroute timetable information.
The decision to end the service to Kuwait comes after the body of a murdered Filipino worker was discovered in a freezer at a Kuwaiti home, last February. The subsequent investigation prompted an evacuation of hundreds of workers from Kuwait.
In February, the Philippines confirmed more than 2,200 citizens who were working in Kuwait had asked to return home. Some presented evidence of mistreatment at their hands of Kuwait employers.
Most of the workers have now returned on special flights organised by Cebu Pacific and PAL.
The Philippines suspended the export of workers to Kuwait in January after reports that abuse by employers had driven several workers to suicide. In 2017, it was estimated more than 250,000 Filipinos worked in Kuwait.