Saturday, March 21, 2020

Students stranded in London as UK cancels flights citing India ban

Hyderabad: Hundreds of Indian students, including 50 from Hyderabad, were left fretting and fuming on Friday as airlines in the United Kingdom made last-minute cancellations citing flying restrictions in India on account of coronavirus scare. These students had booked tickets to head back home.
Many of them who headed to the Gatwick Airport were informed by Emirates Airlines that it would not be able to fly them to India. “We heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address on Thursday and believed we had time to return till March 22. Accordingly, we bought tickets which cost a bomb but on reaching the airport, we were denied boarding. We were told we would not be able to fly out after March 18 because of restrictions,” a student from Hyderabad told TOI from London.
These students are studying in various universities in the UK. They went to the High Commission of India (HCI) in London and narrated their tales of woe. The embassy officials provided them food but told them that they would not be able to fly back to India with travel restrictions in place.
One of the students said they had also contacted AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for help. “We cannot be stuck in London because of the spread of coronavirus. A special flight should be arranged for us so that we can return to India,” Mirza told TOI.
21/03/20 Ch Sushil Rao/Times of India

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