The government of Saudi Arabia has decided to stop retaining the passports of crew members of Indian airlines on arrival. Instead, they will now be given a barcode with limited validity, PTI reported.

Air India and Jet Airways are the two Indian airlines that fly to Saudi Arabia. India took up the matter with Saudi Arabia after crew members faced problems in the country because officials confiscated their original passports and left them with only photocopies – in July, the Saudi Arabian Police detained four Air India crew members in Jeddah as they could not produce their original passports.

A spokesperson for Air India confirmed that “crew passports are not being retained, instead a number is entered in the crew passport that has a limited validity”. The spokesperson said they also have to make fingerprint entries on each arrival, The Times of India reported.

The decision to not retain the passports of Indian crew came into effect in mid-February. Jet Airways also confirmed the development.