Friday, July 24, 2020

Passengers stranded in KIA due to new test rule

Passengers of a special flight bound to Abu Dhabi from Bengaluru were left stranded at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in the wee hours of Thursday.
Passengers of Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi that was scheduled to depart Bengaluru at 2.40 am could not board their flight due to late changes in the guidelines for the Covid-19 PCR testing.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based airline has been operating a limited number of flights from
Bengaluru to Abu Dhabi for eligible individuals from India to travel to Abu Dhabi.
Eligible passengers are UAE nationals and residents as well as people with relevant UAE entry approvals from India.
Passengers who had earlier travelled to Abu Dhabi from Bengaluru or any other Indian city on an Etihad flight could get their Covid-19 tests done at any approved ICMR lab and board their flight.
However, from July 22, the UAE placed an additional restriction on the directive to require testing be done by a laboratory named Purehealth.
As this was made mandatory, passengers who had booked tickets for travel on EY217 in the early hours of Thursday, missed their flight and the aircraft reportedly flew back to Abu Dhabi empty.
Etihad Airways confirmed the incident.
“As per UAE Government and Health Authority requirements, all passengers travelling from India to the UAE, or onward to any destination, must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result from an approved testing facility. This was a UAE government directive that came into effect on July 20, and communicated by Etihad directly to all affected guests.
24/07/20 Hemanth CS/Bangalore Mirror
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