Thursday, June 25, 2020

Coronavirus: Guidelines revised for chartering flights to India from UAE

The Indian diplomatic missions in the UAE have issued revised guidelines for charterers wishing to operate repatriation flights to India, Khaleej Times has learnt.

For the past three weeks, chartered flights have been carrying Indian passengers from UAE to India and over 200 chartered flights have been facilitated by the Embassy and the Consulate under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Government of India said Consul-General of India to Dubai Vipul.

However, for flights from June 25 onwards, a new standard operating procedure (SOP) has been put in place by Government of India for chartered flights from the UAE and some other countries added Vipul.

In a statement to the media, the missions said that Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India, Dubai, have worked assiduously to repatriate Indians stranded in UAE due to Covid-19 situation under Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) since May 7.

It said, "As of June 20, more than 60,000 people had been repatriated in these flights through Air India and chartered flights of other airlines."

Under the new SOPs the following steps will be required to be followed for chartering a flight from UAE to India for repatriation:

1. Chartering entities should identify an Air Transport Operator (ATO) on their own.

2. ATOs send the receiving state (where the destination airport is located) their flight plans, state clearance forms and passenger manifests directly, with a copy to the Embassy/Consulate. While the Embassy/Consulate will vet the passenger manifest, the ATO simultaneously should proceed to get State Clearance for the flight directly in writing.

3. Once the state clearance is in hand, the ATO takes a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the manifest from the Embassy/Consulate.

4. With the state clearance and NOC from the Embassy/Consulate, the ATO should approach the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for flight clearance.

5. States and ATOs manage flight schedules, frequency etc. with regard to all arriving passengers. They should also coordinate with each other where chartered flights have mixed domicile passengers.

6. Where required, chartering entities finalise quarantine arrangements directly with the states.

The contact list of State Coordinators who will be the points of contact for ATOs (both Indian and foreign) have been shared with the ATOs who can work out the schedule of their chartered flights with them, from now onward.
24/06/20 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times
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