Saturday, July 04, 2020

India denies approval to UAE airlines chartered for repatriation

Dubai: Community organisations chartering UAE airlines to repatriate stranded Indians have reported cancellation of their flights after India’s Civil Aviation Ministry denied approvals, shattering the hopes of hundreds who intended to fly back home.
Speaking to Gulf News on Saturday, representatives of different community groups confirmed that the repatriation flights that they had chartered with UAE airlines stood cancelled since Friday.
They said the flights had received approvals from the respective state governments and the Indian missions from the UAE. However, the final layer of approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was getting denied.
Indian missions in the UAE told Gulf News that they had not received any official communication in this regard.
However, a section of the Indian media has reported that India stopped allowing UAE airlines to operate additional repatriation flights, after UAE put curbs on carrying passengers from India to the UAE on Indian airlines.
Though the reason is still not clear, the cancellation of some repatriation flights chartered with UAE airlines has upset the travel plans of hundreds of stranded Indians.
Office bearers of the Tamil community group Quaide Millath Forum told Gulf News that they had to arrange accommodation for dozens of stranded Indians. These passengers, who were scheduled to fly out on an Air Arabia flight from Sharjah to Madurai early on Saturday morning, had already reached Sharjah airport by Friday night.
“We had managed to prevent people from Dubai and Sharjah from coming to the airport as soon as we received information that the flight has been cancelled due to the approval issue. But more than 40 people had already come over very early from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and we had to make arrangements for their accommodation,” said Abdul Rahman Rabbani of the group.
He said those who were stranded included pregnant women, small children, aged patients and jobless workers.
04/07/20 Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News
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