Egypt and EgyptAir flags are seen in front of an EgyptAir in-flight service building - Reuters
CAIRO - 29 January 2019: The State-owned EgyptAir company was slammed by people on social media following controversial comments given by Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel Aal over costly fees of deporting the dead bodies of expatriates.
A hashtag “#مقاطعة_مصر_للطيران” was created by Egyptian expatriates, calling for boycotting the company. The call for the boycott also went viral on Facebook pages of Egyptian expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Italy.
Five days ago, Speaker of the Egyptian House of representatives Abdel Aal said in his meeting with reporters in Kuwait that deporting dead bodies of expatriates is very costly for the country.
After his comments were criticized by social media users, Abdel Aal said during the general session of the Parliament on Sunday that his comments were taken out of the context, adding that a fund will be established to finance shipping the dead bodies.
Social media users said that the company refused to deport the dead bodies of six nationals back home from Kuwait and obliged their relatives to pay the fees of deportation.
On January 11, 2019, the six nationals were killed and five Kuwaiti people were injured in a road accident due to high speed on a highway in the southern city of Wafra in Kuwait.
Defending the company, an official from the Ministry of Civil Aviation told Egypt Today that the company deported the dead bodies for free from Kuwait to the Cairo International Airport and to their relatives in Upper Egypt.
On Jan. 14, state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported that the dead bodies were sent to their relatives for free and Minister of Civil Aviation Younis al-Masry issued a decision, per which the fees of shipping dead bodies of expatriates were reduced by 50 percent; from €500 to €250.
Ghada Agay, member of the Foreign Relations Committee at the House of Representatives, told al-Wafd newspaper on Sunday that the Parliament is discussing a proposal to solve the problem of shipping the expatriates’ dead bodies to their home.
The proposal includes that LE 30 will be added on passport issuance fees and this amount of money will be transferred to the fund.